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Food & Entertaining

Wood Fire-Charred Spanish Octopus with Mussels

Author: Christina Barrueta
Issue: December, 2017, Page 78
Serves 6


6 8-ounce octopus tentacles

15 quarts water

10 carrots, chopped into 2-inch pieces

5 fennel bulbs, chopped into 2-inch pieces, reserve fronds for plating

6 leeks, chopped into 2-inch pieces

2 quarts white wine (such as chardonnay)

10 lemons

7 ounces kosher salt

1 ounce black peppercorns

7 bay leaves

2 ounces thyme

1 ounce parsley

30 mussels, cleaned

4 ounces fennel pollen

1 tablespoon capers

1/4 cup white wine (such as chardonnay)

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 cup pomodoro (see recipe)

3 1/2 cups campari tomatoes, charred

1 tablespoon Piment d’Espelette (red chili powder)

27 ounces canned tomatoes, pressed through a ricer

5 ounces extra virgin olive oil

1 pound carrot, minced

1 1/2 pound onion, minced

1 pound celery, minced

6 ounces garlic, minced

4 ounces fennel bulb, ground

3 bay leaves
2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons salt

1/2 cup fines herbes

2 teaspoons black pepper

30 potatoes

8 ounces octopus (see recipe)

5 mussels (see recipe)

5 pee wee potatoes (see recipe)

Extra virgin olive oil

Piment d’Espelette (red chili powder)

Fennel pollen
Photo by Rick Gayle
Bring water and vegetables to a simmer. Rinse octopus under cold water. Add all other ingredients to water and bring back to a simmer, then add in the octopus and simmer for 2 hours at 185 degrees. To shock, add ice to the cooking liquid to keep the flavor. Once the octopus has cooled down, clean it of all suckers and skin.

In a hot sauté pan, add all ingredients and cook down sauce, making sure all mussels are cooked and opened.

Heat olive oil just until the smoking point, and slowly add the tomato puree. Add mixture of onion, carrot, garlic, fennel and celery. Add the bay leaves, fines herbes, salt, sugar and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until sauce has thickened (6-8 hours). Remove from the pot and cool in an ice bath.

Wash, toss with oil and roast in oven at 400 degrees until tender

Lightly oil octopus and season with salt and pepper, grill over wood fire grill.

Spoon mussels and sauté onto coupe plate. Add potatoes. Slice octopus, place over the top of sauté and garnish with reserved fennel fronds from octopus recipe, extra virgin olive oil, chili powder and fennel pollen.

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