Hobotnica na žaru – Croatian grilled octopus
Impossibly tender grilled octopus served with a beautifully vibrant beet mayonnaise.
  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.