Pulpo a la Gallega or Pulpo a Feira (Galician name meaning ‘fair style octopus) is a traditional dish from the region of Galicia. It is the main dish during the patron saint festivities of the city of Lugo.
Pulpo a la Gallega
- 1 Octopus whole, fresh or frozen, about 2kg
- 500 g Potatoes peeled, Desiree or King Edward
- 1 Medium onion halved
- 2 Bay leaves
- Sea salt
- Pimenton dulce (sweet smoked paprika)
- Olive oil extra virgin
- Remove the octopus from the freezer the day before and allow it to defrost in the fridge.
- Clean the octopus, clearing the head and removing the eyes and beak.
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil with a pinch of salt, the onion and the bay leaves.
- Scare the octopus by dipping it in the boiling water 3 times and pulling it out.This makes the octopus stiffen, so the skin does not fall off during cooking and makes the tips of the tentacles curl.
- Cook the octopus on a medium heat for between 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the octopus.Make sure the octopus is covered with water throughout cooking.
- If required, add the potatoes to the pan, return to the boil and simmer.
- After 20 minutes check if the octopus is cooked by piercing the thicker tentacles with a wooden skewer.Octopus should be al dente,just like pasta. You should feelthe same resistance as a cooked potato.
- Once cooked, allow the octopus to rest in the cooking liquid for 20 minutes, then drain onto a serving platter.
- To serve, cut the octopus and potatoes into ½ inch thick slices. Pulpo a la Gallega is traditionally served on a wooden base with a base of sliced potatoes topped with the sliced octopus, seasoned with sea salt, pimenton and a good drizzle of olive oil.
- After cooking the octopus slices can be placed in a pan of warm olive oil and allowed to infuse for a while until heated through.This is the way to heat shop bought ready cooked octopus.