(makes 1 appetizer serving for 4)
1 medium to large octopus, beak and ink-sac removed (most octopi are already cleaned)
1/3 cup red wine
splash of balsamic or wine vinegar
cracked black pepper
fresh or dried Greek oregano
extra-virgin olive oil
salt to taste
1. Place your octopus (throwing in the cork is optional) in a pot over high heat and cover. Allow the octopus to boil for about 5-8 minutes. Take the lid off and have a look to see if the liquid has been released (the octopus should be almost covered in liquid). Place the cover back on and reduce the heat to a medium-low and simmer for about 45 minutes (checking occasionally to see if there’s enough braising liquid). You may add some more water and continue to braise until the octopus is fork-tender.
2. Remove from the heat and add your wine, balsamic vinegar and some Greek oregano. Allow the octopus to steep until the liquid has cooled or even better, place in the fridge overnight.
3. When you’re ready to grill your octopus, pre-heat your gas or charcoal grill to a high heat. You may cut your octopus now or after it’s grilled (your choice).
4. Take your octopus out of the liquid and place in a bowl. Add some olive oil, some balsamic vinegar, dried Greek oregano, freshly ground black pepper and if needed at all, some sea salt.
5. Place the octopus on the grill and sear for about 2-3 minutes on both sides. Remove from the grill and place on a serving plate. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a good sprinkle of dried Greek oregano and a little sea salt.
6. Serve as part of an array of Greek seafood appetizers (mezedes) with some Ouzo or Tsipouro.