Cuisine - - WILL BOWMAN -


In Greece, sko­rdalia is of­ten served with oc­to­pus. It is some­thing I’m ex­tremely fond of, how­ever it in­volves a bor­der­line-sick­en­ing amount of raw gar­lic. In this take I've stayed true to the flavours of sko­rdalia, but var­ied the tex­ture with potato chunks and I've taken the sting out of the raw gar­lic by treat­ing it to some time in hot but­ter. If you can’t get your hands on nettle, any green leaf will do the trick.

1 oc­to­pus

2 cups broad beans

1 chilli

½ cup rice wine vine­gar 2 cups nettle

3 cloves gar­lic

2 egg yolks

1 ta­ble­spoon cracked pep­per 1 cup sun­flower oil

¼ cup olive oil

2 pota­toes

2 ta­ble­spoons but­ter

Bring a large pot of wa­ter to the boil and add the oc­to­pus whole. Bring back to the boil and cook for 15 min­utes. The meat should still have some spring to it. You could do this in ad­vance and keep in the fridge overnight. Add the broad beans to the same wa­ter and boil for about 5 min­utes. Once cooled, shell them and set aside.

For the mayo, roughly chop the chilli and put in a small pot on medium heat with the vine­gar. Bring to the boil and cook un­til the vine­gar is al­most boiled dry and the chilli is soft­ened. Put the nettle and a splash of wa­ter in another pot and steam for a few min­utes, then drain and squeeze any ex­cess wa­ter from the leaves. Chop one clove of gar­lic as finely as pos­si­ble. Put the yolks, pep­per and chopped gar­lic in a stand mixer or food pro­ces­sor and, while run­ning, add the sun­flower and olive oil in a thin stream (sav­ing two ta­ble­spoons of olive oil for cook­ing the oc­to­pus). Watch care­fully; if it looks like it might be split­ting, stop adding the oil and con­tinue to mix or whisk un­til it's sta­bilised. Once all the oil is added, finely chop the chilli and nettle and mix through the mayo, adding some hot wa­ter if it needs loos­en­ing.

Chop the pota­toes into 2cm cubes and bring to the boil in salted wa­ter, re­mov­ing them once they’re just cooked through. Put the but­ter and re­main­ing two chopped gar­lic cloves in a pan on a medium heat. Add pota­toes to but­tery pan and toss un­til coated.

Be­fore grilling the oc­to­pus, cut each ten­ta­cle from the head or cut into smaller pieces as de­sired. Brush the oc­to­pus in a lit­tle olive oil and grill over coals or on the bar­be­cue, un­til it takes on some colour and smoke.

As­sem­ble on a large plate – I like to place a bit of ev­ery­thing to­gether as if it was go­ing to be picked up as one per­fect mouth­ful of each com­po­nent.

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