This recipe hails from the September MEATing, via winning cook Pat “Bus Station” McBride (why “Bus Station”? No damn idea). It is, we are confident in stating, our only recipe that calls for a de-beaking. It’s also incredible. Fact.
6 small to medium-sized octopi, cleaned and de-beaked
3 cups (24 oz) dry white wine
Juice of 3 lemons
2 bunches Italian flat-leaf parsley, separated into stems and leaves
10 sprigs oregano, leaves removed from stems
2 tbsp minced garlic (2-3 large cloves)
1 tbsp salt
1 lb clarified unsalted butter
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 fresh bageutte, split
1. Heat a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Blanch the octopi for 90 seconds. Reserve the liquid for braising.
2. Preheat the oven to 300. Place the octopi, lemon juice, parsley stems, half the oregano, the white wine, garlic, salt, red pepper, and olive oil in a large covered pan or dutch oven for braising. Pour in enough reserved blanching liquid to bring the level to halfway up the octopi.
3. Braise, covered, for 2 hours.
4. Remove the octopi. Strain off and reserve the braising liquid. You might consider placing the vessel in an ice bath to cool somewhat.
5. Place the clarified butter in a large saucepan over medium heat with half of the parsley leaves, the remaining oregano, and remaining garlic. When it begins to boil, adjust the heat to a steady simmer. Let simmer 5-10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, get your grill ready for medium-high direct grilling. Clean and oil the grate.
7. Place the braising liquid in a blender or food processor (Is it cool enough not to napalm you? Best to check). Or, better, use an immersion blender.
8. Carefully blend the simmered clarified butter into the braising liquid, adding butter mixture slowly, as you would to create an emulsion for a salad dressing. Slow and steady.
9. Grill each octopus 2-3 minutes, until the tendrils are crunchy and the hood (head) gets solid grills marks.
10. Remove and toss the celphalopods(I am really sick of typing octopi) in your emulsified butter and braise until evenly coated.
11. Slather the remaining emulsion on your split baguette and grill until just toasted.
12. Cut the … undersea friends diagonally to 1″ thickness and place on the baguette. Drizzle with leftover emulsion and any remaining herb leaves. Add pepper if it floats your boat. GET IT BOAT BECAUSE OCTOPUS! (cries for 30 minutes straight)