Hobotnica na žaru – Grilled octopus

Hobotnica na žaru – Grilled octopus

Octopus food styling

Octopus is one of those creatures you either love or are freaked-out by. Or perhaps you like eating it, but prefer to close your eyes and not think about it too much. As was the case when I gave some of this to my visiting mother-in-law when she was in town. She loves the taste but struggles with the sight of the nobbly tentacles. On the other hand, they were lapped up with gusto when presented at a lunch with friends at my place not all that long ago.

I was introduced to it at a very young age.  My father used to head out to a pier or breakwater in Wollongong, when we lived down there in the 1970’s, spearing the octopus with a makeshift 3-pronged device that was often quite fruitful.

Once brought home, my mother pressure-cooked the octopus and served it in a warm or cold salad with potato and lots of garlic. Now that I mention it, I need to acquire the recipe!

Today, however, I can only give you the recipe for my charred octopus that has been given a 4-hour pre-treatment with herbs at a very low temperature. The slow cooking renders the octopus to the most perfectly tender texture, with subtle herbal notes and a gentle slap of chilli from a quick marinade and dressing.

Lemon juice is usually enough, but I’ve tricked it up with my quick homemade mayo that’s tinted with fresh beetroot. Plus it makes it look pretty!

Tip – You can prepare the octopus ahead of time up to the point of it coming out of the oven. In doing this, you can leave the cooked octopus in the fridge overnight, covered, and bring it out about an hour before tossing in the oil and spices the following day. Then just toss it on the bbq as per the recipe. Easy stuff.

Hobotnica na žaru {grilled octopus} recipe

Hobotnica na žaru {grilled octopus} recipe

Hobotnica na žaru {grilled octopus} recipe

Hobotnica na žaru {grilled octopus} recipe

Print Recipe
Hobotnica na žaru - Croatian grilled octopus
Impossibly tender grilled octopus served with a beautifully vibrant beet mayonnaise.
Hobotnica na žaru {grilled octopus} | heneedsfood.com
Course Starters
Cuisine Croatian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Starters
Cuisine Croatian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Hobotnica na žaru {grilled octopus} | heneedsfood.com
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 100°C.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Drop the whole octopus and its head into the boiling water, allowing to cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
  3. Place the rosemary and oregano stalks into the bottom of a Dutch oven or casserole dish that will take the octopus in a single layer. Pour over the wine, put on the lid and place in the warm oven for 2-3 hours. It may be tender after this time, depending on the size of the octopus. If not, put back into the oven for longer. For the octopus I used (11-12cm diameter) it took 4 hours to achieve the desired tenderness.
  4. Place the olive oil, chilli, paprika, garlic and seasoning into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  5. When the octopus is done, remove it from the pot and cut the tentacles off individually. Cut the head into two or three. Place the tentacles and head pieces into the oil & chilli mix, toss well and set aside.
  6. Mix the mayonnaise and beetroot together and set aside.
  7. Heat a bbq or char grill over high flame. Lightly shake off any excess oil from the octopus and char-grill on both sides for several minutes until cooked and a little blackened in places.
  8. Toss back into the bowl they came from, toss to coat and serve immediately with herbs, sliced radish and beetroot mayonnaise. Season again, if needed, and squeeze over lots of fresh lemon juice
Recipe Notes

To clean the octopus - cut out the section of the head that contains the eyes. Discard. Invert the top of the head and rinse well under running water to remove the sac and any debris. Cut or squeeze out the beak at the centre of the tentacles, discard, and wash the tentacles very well. Drain well before using.

Get my recipe for quick mayonnaise here.

 

 

Share this Recipe
  • Yum, sounds lovely!

  • AmandaChewTown

    So glad I got to try it! I have been waiting for the recipe ever since lunch… and now I have it!! YAY

  • Helen (grabyourfork)

    This octopus was amazing. I might have closed my eyes when I was eating this dish, but that’s only because it was oh so good! That mayo was gorgeous too.

  • I love this preparation – knowing how to cook it so that it is tender will change our lives! Love the beetroot mayo – the color is just gorgeous. Now, I have to find some octopus in the desert. I am guessing my Asian market will be the place!

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    Absolutely delicious. Ate with my eyes wide open and loved every second. The vibrant mayo was both tasty and beautiful.

  • phuocndelicious

    *saves recipe*

    I loved it so much, so unbelievably tender

Real Time Analytics