Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Octopus Galician Style (Pulpo a la gallega)

Pulpo a la gallega or "polvo a feira" is a traditional Galician style way of preparing octopus by cooking it in a copper cauldron and dipping the octopus three times in boiling water to tenderize it.  The octopus is served on wooden plates during the celebration of the Patron Saint of many villages in Galicia in Northern Spain and therefore has the name "octopus fair style."

"Pulpo a feira" served in a traditional wooden plate

I don't put the octopus three times in boiling water. Since the octopus is frozen and defrosted, it has a high water content, so I just put potatoes and the octopus in a pan to cook without water and close the pan with a lid. After 20 minutes the only thing to do is to check for tenderness and that the pan still has water.


2 1/2 Octopus
4 Potatoes Peeled
Hot Paprika
Olive Oil

In a cauldron or deep pan, cook the potatoes and octopus on  low heat until tender. Check that the pan has water from the octopus. If it is not tender and is running out of water, add hot water. When it is done let it rest for 20 minutes. In the meantime, cut the potatoes in small pieces and fry them in a pan with oil and garlic. Then cut the octopus in small pieces -  first the legs, and then the head if tender. Place everything on a wooden plate, add salt, hot paprika, drizzle some olive oil and serve.

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