1 octopus, 1.5 to 2 pounds (see note)
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano (or alternate herbs)
1 large or 2 small lemons
¼ cup olive oil
- 1 octopus (1½ to 2 pounds), cleaned
Note: A larger octopus will work, just make sure it fits in your pressure cooker and adjust the cooking time. I’ve also cooked 2 1½ pound octopuses at once in my 6-quart pressure cooker.
When you (or the fishmonger) clean the octopus, be sure to remove the beak, eyes and open the head and clean it out. Rinse the octopus, especially inside the head as there might be a little sand in there if it isn’t cleaned out thoroughly.
Place the octopus in a pressure cooker. Add water to cover and
- 1 onion, cut in half
- 2 cloves garlic, split or smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp salt
Be absolutely certain you don’t overfill your pressure cooker!
Bring the pressure cooker to high (15 lbs) pressure. Set a timer for 15 minutes. When the time is done, bring the pressure down quickly and check that a paring knife easily slips into the thickest part of the leg. If not, close the pressure cooker, bring it back to pressure and cook for 3 minutes; then re-test it. Generally I have found that 15 minutes is enough time.
In a 2-3 quart mixing bowl, combine
- juice of 2 small or 1 large lemon
- 3 to 4 TBL olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano, marjoram or thyme. (You can also use fresh herbs if you prefer)
- ½ tsp salt
Add the cooked octopus and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, turning the octopus at least once in the marinade but more often if time allows.
Light coals or light gas grill. Grill the octopus, (leave the legs all attached, but grill the head separately), making sure you don’t char the tips of the legs too much. When it’s gotten some color, it’s done. Remember, it was fully cooked when it came out of the pressure cooker and you are just seeking to get a grilled flavor and crisp up the skin a bit.
Serve, either cut into legs or bite-size bits, drizzled with more olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice or your favorite condiments.