Slow-cooking meat is a tradition throughout the Adriatic and Aegean regions. In Croatia the method is applied to octopus, which is cooked whole in its own juices and the cook’s choice of flavourings.
Traditionally this would be potatoes with a supporting cast from carrots, onions, peppers and tomatoes plus garlic. The octopus would be allowed to cook slowly in its own juices.
Modern recipes call for olive oil to moisten the flesh of the octopus and red or white wine to speed the cooking process.
Some cooks flavour the octopus with chilli, garlic, lemon and an assortment of herbs (bay and mint prominent), spices (whole black peppers and pomegranate seeds) and sea vegetables to impart the essence of the Adriatic.
2 kg octopus, whole 1.5 kg potatoes 500 g red onions 300 g carrots 150 g peppers 120 ml red wine/white wine 100 g tomatoes 50 ml olive oil 6 garlic cloves Black pepper, pinch Salt, pinch
Preheat oven to 250°C.
Arrange the octopus on the bottom of an ovenproof pot. Place the rest of the ingredients on top. Cover with foil, then the lid.
Reduce heat to 200°C and put pot in the middle of the oven. Cook for 45 minutes.
Remove octopus, allowing the vegetables to fall to the bottom of the pot. Arrange octopus, tentacles up on top.
Reduce heat to 150°C, cook for 60 minutes until the flesh is tender.
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