Estofat de pop i patata – Catalan octopus stew

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This octopus stew recipe is popular throughout all of Catalonia, thanks to its simplicity and comforting, satisfying flavour. It's important to break the potatoes apart rather than simply chopping them up, as this releases more starch into the sauce for a rich, thick finish.

First published in 2019





To make the stew


Begin by cooking the octopus. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then carefully add the octopus with the onion and bay leaves. Simmer for 45–60 minutes, or until the octopus is tender
Drain the octopus, reserving 1 litre of the cooking liquid
To make the stew, heat up the oil in a large pan and gently sweat the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt until soft. Add the paprika and tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking
Add the white wine and bay leaves and reduce the liquid in the pan by two-thirds. Pour in the reserved 1 litre of octopus stock and simmer for 1 hour
Peel the potatoes and cut into them using a knife, then twist the knife to break them apart. Break into rough 3–4cm chunks and set aside (cutting and breaking them apart like this releases more starch, which helps thicken the stew)
Use scissors to cut the octopus into neat 3cm pieces
When the stew has been cooking for an hour, add the potato and octopus pieces and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. The stew should have thickened up by this point, but you can simmer for a little longer if needed to reduce the liquid
Taste and season the stew with salt and a few drops of Tabasco, if desired. Serve warm with chopped parsley

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