Grilled Octopus with Red Wine Onions & Rosemary Potatoes
Serves 4 People
- 8-12 octopus legs, marinated in red wine
- 1-2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- 1-2 Tbsp. butter
- 1-2 tsp. sugar
- 3/4 c. dry red wine
- 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 10 medium potatoes
- 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 garlic clove
- Salt and pepper
Octopus is a popular delicacy in the Mediterranean cuisine. In Spain, pulpos, as they are called in Spanish, tentacles are everywhere — among the favorites and absolute classics of tapas. They're also often found in seafood salads, paellas or pizzas. The short cooking time makes octopus perfect for crisp grilling. Together with roasted rosemary potatoes and caramelized red wine onions, they are a quick and tasty grilled dish - and not just for summery days!
All About Octopus
The octopus, also called pulpo or octopus, lives alone in caves on the sea floor. They feed on crabs, fish and other mollusks. Like cuttlefish and calamari, octopuses belong to the squid family and are found in all the warmer zones of the oceans, especially in the Mediterranean. They are the largest members of the squid family and can be between 1-3 ft. long and 7-22 lbs.
An octopus has eight tentacles with suction cups. These serve him as a gripping tool and for locomotion on the seabed. With their nutty-spicy taste, they are considered a delicacy —especially in the Spanish, Greek and Asian cuisine. There legs are one of the most popular appetizers.
Before you start grilling the squid legs, take care of the rosemary potatoes. Wash the potatoes thoroughly and dry them. Boil the potatoes in hot water for 10-15 minutes keeping them firm. Then, drain the water and let the potatoes cool down.
Now, heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the potatoes until golden brown. Add the garlic and the sprigs of rosemary and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes – making sure that the rosemary does not burn. Finally, sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper and set aside covered.
Best Way to Grill Octopus
Traditionally, squid legs are pre-cooked in red wine slowly at a low heat before being processed further. But you need a lot of patience, because squid can become tough when cooked with too much heat causing a chewy and rubbery consistency. For this octopus recipe, we decided to use pre-cooked octopus. You will find it in every well-stocked supermarket, mostly in the freezer.
Pre-cooked, octopus is very easy to prepare. Before you grill the tentacles, you can thaw them by running luke-warm water over them and dabbing them dry. With fresh, pre-cooked octopus, you can throw directly on the grill.
Heating up the Otto Grill
Now, preheat your Otto Grill for three minutes. Make sure to take out the grill first so it doesn’t pre-cook the octopus tentacles when placing them there.
Caramelized Red Wine Onions
While preheating the Otto Grill, prepare the red wine onions. Peel the onions and cut them into fine rings. Then, heat a pan on the stove and add some butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and let them sauté until they are translucent.
Now, add the sugar and let the onions caramelize. After 1-2 minutes, deglaze with balsamic and red wine. Season with pepper and salt, and then, simmer the red wine onions while covered for another 5-10 minutes before setting them aside.
Grilling Octopus on Otto Grill
While your red wine onions are simmering, put the octopus arms on the cold grill. Set the meat-o-meter to level 3 (middle level) and grill the tentacles at high heat for about 1 minute until the skin turns light brown. It may be that some thin parts of the octopus becomes a bit charred, but you can easily remove it. Due to the high heat of the Otto Grill and the short time on the grate, the grilled octopus arms are wonderfully tender and at the same time preserves beautiful roasted aromas.
Last, drizzle the grilled octopus tentacles with a little lemon juice, oil and salt.
Now, it’s time to serve your grilled octopus. Take an oblong plate and place 2-3 tentacles on each serving. Garnish with some thyme and a slice of lemon. Season with some salt. Put the rosemary potatoes and red wine onions on small plates and serve to the pulpo/octopus. Your Mediterranean grill dish is ready to eat.