pulpo on mash
Octopus and potatoes are a good team. Spice it up with some garlic, olive oil, butter, tomatoes and parsley and enjoy a fantastic Mediterranean summer dish!
The octopus is not difficult to prepare, just needs time and patience …
Ingredients for four:
1kg of fresh octopus (or a bit more)
A bunch of thyme and oregano
5 black pepper corns
1.5 kg of potatoes (for mash)
1 TBS chopped fresh rosemary
Fresh milk (about 2 dl)
Fresh butter (100g)
5 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves (whole, smashed)
A few cherry tomatoes
A good bunch of flat parsley
1 chili pod (no seeds)
Piment d’espelette (or alternatively some sweet paprika powder)
First of all, put the octopus in a big pan full of cold water. Cut the onion in quarters (including skin) and add together with the pepper, the roughly chopped fennel and carrot and bring to a boil. No salt needed! Add the thyme and oregano. Once boiling, keep simmering (it must not boil any longer) for about 50 minutes, with the lid on. Switch off the stove and let cool down in the pan – this might take a while, but you can prepare it way before your guests arrive.
Peel the potatoes, cut in chunks, and heat up together with the milk and some salt. Add some chopped rosemary. Place the lid on top and make sure the milk is just simmering as otherwise you will have a real mess in your kitchen. After about 20 minutes, check if the potatoes are soft. Now get rid of most of the milk, just keep a little bit in the pan, and carefully crush the potatoes (there is a special “potato masher” but a fork works very well). Add the butter, but make sure there are some pieces of potatoes left, just crush it roughly. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
In a separate pan, add the olive oil, the garlic, and the chopped chili and bring to a medium heat. Be careful not to burn the garlic. After just about five minutes, add the tomatoes and the parsley and switch off the stove. Throw out the garlic, it has done its job to season the oil.
The pulpo / octopus is then cut into pieces and grilled on a very hot grill ( or grill pan with some olive oil), for just about two minutes. Distribute on the mashed potatoes, and pour some of the flavored garlic / tomato oil on top. Season with salt, pepper and piment d’espelette (generously!).