A couple of years ago, I bought a beautiful whole octopus from Sun Fat in San Francisco’s Mission District. Inspired by a travel documentary on Greece, I had visions of making a gorgeous stewed octopus topped with olives and lemon. It was the first time I’d ever broken down an octopus – quite challenging when you don’t know your way around one. A few hours later, I pulled my stew off the stove and sliced one of the legs. To my chagrin, it was tough. Jules tried to be diplomatic about it, but it was a terrible failure. It mostly went in the trash.
It took a lot of time before I even wanted to attempt octopus again. I’d heard so many different methods for tenderizing the octopus: beating it against a rock, boiling water baths, cooking it with a cork, salting it…I honestly didn’t have the patience to try any of them, until my friend Lisa over at Nomiku decided to make octopus for our mutual friend’s birthday. I did it myself this weekend, and let me tell you – I’m fairly certain I will never cook octopus another way!
For this recipe, you will need a sous vide circulator. Obviously, I’m using one of Lisa’s Nomiku circulators – it’s compact and super easy to use, and they are not paying me to tell you this!
Sous Vide Grilled Octopus with Chimichurri Sauce
For the octopus:
1 octopus, cut into large pieces
2 tsp. of smoked salt (I used Smoked Chardonnay Salt)
2 tablespoons of good olive oil
1 tsp. of smoked paprika
Put all the ingredients in a bag, massage gently, and then put into the 84°C water bath for 4 hours. Save the juice for use in anything else – it’s basically stock. I used mine to make a pretty fantastic paella the next day.
To serve, lightly char the outside of the octopus on a grill or using a kitchen blowtorch. Slice, arrange onto a platter, and top with sauce.
For the Chimichurri sauce:
2 generous handfuls of flat-leaf parsley
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup of good quality olive oil
Add all ingredients except oil to a food processor or blender and process, adding the oil in a steady stream with the motor running. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors blend together. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Recipe based on Nomiku’s version here!