Grilled Octopus / Polvo Grelhado
I love grilled Octopus. It is a wonderful dish that when cooked right has a light smoky crust of paprika, but is tender as a good steak. Some of the best grilled Octopus we have had was in Portugal and I tended to get this dish wherever I could find it. Our grilled Octopus recipe is an incredibly flavorful dish and reflects the style we enjoyed in Portugal. Served as a tapa or as the main dish, grilled Octopus is versatile meal. Finding fresh, never frozen Octopus can be difficult as the best source is from Spain where the Octopus have a healthy diet of shellfish. Here is a good article about identifying good Octopus to use and overall a good read before trying to cook Octopus your first time.
One store that I can consistently find fresh Octopus is Eataly, so if your city has one it is a good bet you can find what you need there.
Check out these other Portugal and Spanish inspired recipes:
Easy Grilled Squid and Peppers
Portuguese Yellow Rice – The Best Rice Recipe
Baked Turbot Fish
Grill Octopus / Polvo Grelhado
Octopus is cooked slowly in a bath of water, oil, and seasonings which soften the octopus. After the octopus cools to room temperature, we add some spices and grill for a few minutes to finish off the perfect texture and infused with a little smokiness.
For tenderizing tentacles
Preheat over to 250 degrees F
Rub rock salt all over the octopus to break down the fibers and help make it more tender, let sit for 10 minutes
Wipe away rock salt from octopus and place in a large oven safe pot deep enough to be able to cover water/oil
Add all of the other ingredients into the pot
Cook uncovered at 250 degrees F in oven for 2 hours.
Remove from oven and then let cool in the liquid until at room temperature
Cut apart the tentacles so they are all separate (if they were attached together)
Heat grill so that it is hot ~400 degrees F
Before grilling, toss tentacles in olive oil and season with paprika, salt, and black pepper
Grill on high for 3-4 minutes on each side
Slice tentacles to serve and top with some good olive oil