Grilled octopus with mojo verde and peperonata

Grilled octopus with mojo verde and peperonata

Grill Smoke BBQ
Kris Kirkham

Octopus has a bit of bad reputation. Tough and chewy are two words that spring to mind – but cooked like this, nothing could be further from the truth. The secret is to buy frozen octopus (or get some fresh octopus and freeze it) from your fishmonger; the thawing process effectively tenderizes the meat. The octopus is then poached before being quickly grilled: simply delicious. Served with some sweet-sour peppers and a piquant green sauce hailing from the Canary Islands, this will transport you to sunny climes. A dollop of alioli is good with this too.


Quantity Ingredient
1 small thawed frozen octopus, about 1–1.5kg frozen weight
1 white onion, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
8 black peppercorns
2 red onions, finely sliced
2 red peppers, deseeded and finely sliced
2 yellow peppers, deseeded and finely sliced
50ml red wine vinegar
50g demerara or brown sugar
olive oil, for cooking
sea salt
black pepper
1 quantity * mojo verde [rid:31871]


  1. Dry the octopus with paper towel, then cut off and discard the head. Ensure that the hard beak or mouth has been removed too; this is just at the bottom of the head. Place the octopus in a large saucepan with the white onion, bay leaves and peppercorns, then cover generously with cold water (the octopus will expand as it cooks). Bring to the boil on the stovetop, then turn down to a slow simmer. Cover the pan with a lid or some foil and cook the octopus for around 1 hour, or until very tender – a small knife inserted into the thick part of a tentacle shouldn’t meet any resistance. Leave the octopus to cool in the cooking liquid before removing and transferring to the fridge (the poaching liquid makes a delicious soup base).
  2. Light the barbecue and set for direct/indirect cooking.
  3. Place a medium saucepan in the indirect heat zone and pour in a lug of olive oil. Add the red onions and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the peppers and keep cooking until they are very soft. Now add the vinegar and sugar, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes or until the peppers have cooked down to a thick, rich stew. Move the pan to the edge of the barbecue to keep warm.
  4. Separate the tentacles of the octopus. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then place them directly on the grill in the direct heat zone and cook for 2 minutes on each side to lightly char.
  5. Spoon out the peperonata, then serve with the grilled octopus and mojo verde.

Serve with

  • Paprika-rubbed smoky quails with caramelized onions and alioli; Lamb chops with smoky aubergine and salsa verde; Smoked and grilled chorizo with roasted peppers and saffron alioli.
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