Braised Octopus in Rioja

braised octopus in rioja

Serves 4

900g octopus, cleaned and blanched                                                                                          

1 tbsp oil and 30g butter                                                                                                                  

3 red onions, peeled cut into thick wedges                                                                                    

1 tbsp dark brown sugar                                                                                                             

2 cloves garlic                                                                                                                                     

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar                                                                                                                    

1 sprig of rosemary                                                                                                               

200ml Rioja                                                                                                                            

300ml shellfish stock                                                                                                                         

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper                                                                                      

2-3 tbsp aioli OR crème fraiche


Cooking Method

Preheat the oven to 325C/gas mark 3. Heat the oil and butter together in a large ovenproof casserole. When the butter is foaming, brown the octopus pieces – a few at a time. Lift onto a plate and set aside.

Add the red onions to the casserole and cook over a medium heat until beginning to brown. Add the sugar, garlic and balsamic vinegar; stir over a high heat for 1-2 minutes.

Replace the octopus and add the rosemary and Rioja. Simmer for 1-2 minutes then add the shellfish stock. Bring to the boil season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and cook in the oven for 11/2 – 2 hours or until the octopus is completely tender.

When the octopus is cooked, lift onto a plate with a slotted spoon. Bring the cooking juices to boil and allow to simmer to a syrupy consistency. Replace the octopus and adjust seasoning if necessary. Spoon the aioli OR crème fraiche over the top and serve straight from the casserole.

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