This has comforted me; better homemakers than I take really bad photos of food, which is my new excuse for this tentacled monstrosity.
|Post-braise, pre-strip of all the nasty outer parts I don't want to eat.|
Totally didn't measure anything other than the exorbitant amount of octopus I purchased. Instead, here's a list of ingredients, along with some instructions:
your choice of vinegar
juice of two small lemons, plus the rind of one half lemon
I combined everything but the sugar, tomatoes, and most of the salt in a huge pot and filled it with just enough water to cover the octopus, then simmered him** for about an hour, until nearly tender. I stripped a lot of the mucoid outer skin with my hands--how much you want to work on this depends on how much the texture bothers you--and broke down the octopus as I reduced the boiling liquid and added some extra vinegar and salt, as well as sugar. Then I let the octopus slices soak in the briny liquid for about another hour to chemically tenderize it. Just before it was done, I made orzo browned in butter with plum tomatoes, kale, and garlic, and served the octopus over that. Top with plenty of parsley and cracked black pepper, and maybe a squeeze of lemon; it needs the parsley freshness for sure.
*Seriously, I could have eschewed the cake and just eaten the glaze. It cooled to a sort of thick, praline-y texture that was just ridiculous.
**Every once in awhile I'm bothered by eating octopi, as they're supposed to be quite intelligent.