OCTOPUS SKEWERS w/ BLACK BEAN SAUCE & POTATO SALAD
- 2 (1.5kg) fresh octopuses
- Dash of olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 tbsp Chinese black bean sauce
- 450g cherry tomatoes
- 600g small waxy potatoes
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp capers
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 tsp chopped pimientos
- Juice of 2 lemons
- To clean each octopus, cut the head from the tentacles just below the eyes. (The head is not used in this recipe, so you can discard it or you can cut away the eyes, remove and discard the innards trapped inside, and peel away the exterior skin. It can then be cooked until tender and reserved for another use.) Locate the hard beak where the tentacles meet and firmly push or cut it out. Rinse the tentacles under running water.
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over high heat on the stove top and add the tentacles. When the tentacles start to release their moisture in 7-8 minutes (or longer if necessary), turn down the heat to low, add the garlic and bay leaves, cover and cook for 1-1½ hours, until tender.
- Or you can preheat the oven to 260°C. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over high heat on the stove top, add the tentacles, and transfer the pot or dish to the hot oven. When the tentacles start to release their moisture in 7-8 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 180°C, add the garlic and bay leaves, cover, and cook for 1-1½ hours, until tender.
- Set the Big Green Egg for direct cooking. Preheat the Egg to 200°C.
- Let the tentacles cool, then thread them onto the skewers and baste with the black bean sauce. Just before serving, place the tentacles on the cooking grid, close the lid of the Big Green Egg, and cook for a few minutes on each side, until they develop a crispy crust.
- Place the Half Moon Cast Iron Griddle, smooth side up, or baking dish on the grid and close the lid of the Egg to preheat.
- Add the tomatoes to the hot Griddle, close the lid, and cook for a few minutes, until the skins start to wrinkle and the tomatoes begin to collapse. Set the tomatoes aside.
- Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil on the stove top, add the potatoes, and cook for about 20 minutes, or tender when pierced with a fork.
- Drain the potatoes, transfer to a bowl, and mash coarsely. Add the parsley and capers and then add the tomatoes, mashing them a bit so their juices are released into the potatoes. Drizzle some oil over the potatoes and tomatoes to make a dressing and season with salt. Add the pimientos and stir gently.
- Squeeze the lemon juice over the octopus and serve with the potato salad.
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