Greek octopus
The image of octopus drying in the sun is a quintessential Greek scene

Greek octopus with onions & potatoes cooked in wine

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Octopus is a very popular delicacy in the Greek cuisine. Nearly every restaurant in the seaside towns and villages on the mainland and the islands serves their own house specialty octopus dish. There are countless variations: from salads to stews, grilled to giouvetsi and not just for summery days. Today’s octopus dish arrives on your plate with onions and potatoes cooked in wine and will transport you straight to your favorite Greek holiday destination.

Octopus with onion & potatoes (Credit: Haydn Blackey from Cardiff, Wales, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Ingredients: 1 kg. of fresh octopus, ½ water glass extra-virgin olive oil, 1 water glass red wine,
4-5 onions finely chopped, 4 ripe tomatoes, 4-5 potatoes quartered, 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley, 2 tsp. dried Greek oregano, ½ tsp. seasalt, ½ tsp. fresh ground pepper, some orange peel.

Instructions:

Wash the octopus well, cut it into pieces and cook it in a saucepan over medium heat without adding water. After about 5-6 minutes check to see if it’s liquid has been released. When all its water evaporates, add the olive oil, onions, salt and pepper brown them for 5 minutes and then add the wine. Now add the tomatoes, potatoes, parsley, and enough water to just cover the ingredients. Simmer the food at low heat, until it dries its water. If the octopus isn’t soft enough, add some more water. When the octopus is soft and the sauce has thickened it is ready to serve. The finishing touch is the orange peel. Serve with olives and some crusty bread.

Tips: Don’t worry if you can’t find fresh octopus. It is perfectly fine to use frozen, just make sure it is fully thawed before using it. Some would say that frozen octopus ends up being more tender than fresh octopus. It is always better to buy two smaller octopus (500 gr each) than one bigger, as it will become tender faster.