Slow-Cooked Octopus in Tomato Sauce
"Slow-cooked" and "Tuesday-night dinner" are two mutually incompatible concepts when you're a working woman. Incompatible unless your hard-working husband stays home and writes his articles while waiting for the octopus to boil/steam tender.
This octopus dish is another in Gabriel's repertoire of Greek cuisine. You'll find this particularly in spring when the octopi come close to the surface of the coastal Ionian sea and are easy to catch. But for us, frozen is just fine (the toughest octopus Gabriel ever cooked was a pricey freshly-caught one).
Here's how he does it:
2 small or 1 large octopus
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Greek oregano
1-15oz cans of good San Marzano tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste
First clean the octopus, taking out the beak (pointy thing at the bottom where all the tentacles connect) and the eyes (eeeew!, no wonder I never make this myself!). Other than the beak and eyes, leave the octopus whole and place in a large pot with about 1/2 inch of water at the bottom. Cover the pot tightly and boil/steam the octopus for 1 hour, or until tender. This prospect sounds pretty risky to me since it seems easy for the water steam away and the octopus to burn, but this is what Gabriel does regularly, so I guess if you keep watching it, you'll be ok. Music to boil octopus by: Kitchen Man by Bessie Smith.
Once the octopus is almost done, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the minced onion. Cook stirring regularly until it's browned, then add the bay, oregano and tomatoes. Heat to a simmer, breaking up any larger pieces of tomato. Cut the octopus into about 1-2 inch pieces and add to the pan. Add the white wine, return to a simmer and cook 30-40 minutes or until the sauce is like a thick tomato sauce. Serve over white rice. Then kiss your kitchen man, 'cause he's your sweetie.