Sepia a la bruta – cuttlefish stew

10
4 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Prawn bisque

  • 100ml of olive oil
  • 2kg prawns, fresh and whole
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced
  • 1 bulb of garlic, halved through the centre
  • 1 tbsp of paprika
  • 200ml of brandy
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 25g of tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp of peppercorns

Cuttlefish stew

  • 3.5kg cuttlefish, with skin
  • 6 shallots, cut into brunoise
  • 3 garlic cloves, cut into brunoise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 dried chilli, chopped
  • 8 tomatoes, ripe, grated
  • 15 saffron strands, toasted in a hot dry pan
  • 300ml of sherry, (use a quality Spanish sherry)
  • 1 dash of olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Picada

  • 60g of stale bread, fried in oil until golden
  • 3 garlic cloves, fried in oil until golden
  • 6g of 70% dark chocolate
  • 35g of pine nuts, toasted

Leeks

  • 10 small leeks
  • olive oil, preferably Arbequina olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Piparras allioli

  • 1 garlic bulb, plus 2 cloves
  • 35 piparras peppers, in brine, finely chopped then patted with kitchen paper to remove as much moisture as possible
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 500ml of light olive oil
  • salt

To serve

  • dark chocolate
  • chives

Method

1
To begin, make the prawn bisque as you will need this to form the base of your stew. Heat the olive oil over a high heat in a medium-large pan and add the prawns. Once the prawns are nicely roasted, mash with a rolling pin to extract their juices
  • 100ml of olive oil
  • 2kg prawns, fresh and whole
2
Next, add the vegetables to the pan and sweat on a medium-high heat. It’s important to cook the vegetables until all of their moisture has evaporated and they start to brown
  • 1 bulb of garlic, halved through the centre
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
3
Add the paprika (being careful not to let it burn) and pour in the brandy, allowing the alcohol to evaporate fully. Add the herbs, tomato paste and peppercorns and cover with 5l of water. Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes – the liquid should reduce until there's about 4l left in the pan. Remove from the heat and leave to sit in the pan with a lid on for an hour until cooled (this is an important stage as it will help to develop the flavour). Strain the bisque and set aside – you'll need 1l to make the stew, then an extra ladleful of bisque when ready to serve. You can freeze the rest of the bisque and use in other dishes
  • 200ml of brandy
  • 1 tbsp of paprika
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 tbsp of peppercorns
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 25g of tomato paste
4
To make the cuttlefish stew, clean the cuttlefish very carefully, ensuring you remove the inner quill and the insides only - the skin should be left on. Remove the wings, slice into pieces and set aside on a plate. Shred the tentacles and place them on the plate with the chopped wings. Cut the body into large pieces and set aside separately
  • 3.5kg cuttlefish, with skin
5
Add a dash of oil to a hot pan and add the wings and tentacles, cooking until nicely golden all over. Add the shallots to the pan, place a lid on top and turn down the heat. Cook until the shallots are tender, then add the garlic, bay leaf and chopped dried chilli. Continue to cook over a low heat until the shallots are lightly caramelised
  • 1 dried chilli, chopped
  • 1 dash of olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 shallots, cut into brunoise
  • 3 garlic cloves, cut into brunoise
6
Add the tomatoes and cuttlefish body pieces and cook together over a low heat for 30–40 minutes. When the juices from the tomatoes have evaporated from the pan and the mixture is dry and sticky, add the toasted saffron and sherry. Allow the alcohol to evaporate, then add 1l of the prawn bisque and cook over a low heat until the cuttlefish is very tender, for about 60–90 minutes. Season to taste. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before chilling in the fridge overnight – you can serve the dish immediately but the flavour of the stew and texture of the cuttlefish will improve if chilled then reheated
  • 300ml of sherry, (use a quality Spanish sherry)
  • 15 saffron strands, toasted in a hot dry pan
  • 8 tomatoes, ripe, grated
  • pepper
  • salt
7
To make the picada, blitz everything together in a blender and set aside
  • 35g of pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 garlic cloves, fried in oil until golden
  • 60g of stale bread, fried in oil until golden
  • 6g of 70% dark chocolate
8
Preheat a barbecue or chargrill pan until smoking hot. Burn the leeks until the skin is black, as quickly as possible. Remove from the grill, wrap in tin foil and allow to cool. Once cool, peel away the blackened layers and cut into 8cm pieces
  • 10 small leeks
9
To make the piparras allioli, preheat the oven to 165°C/gas mark 4
10
Coat the garlic bulb in oil and salt, wrap in tin foil and roast in the oven for 1 hour. Once the garlic cloves are soft, squeeze out of the skins straight into a blender. Add the raw garlic cloves, piparras and egg yolks, blend to a paste for a minute or 2, then slowly drizzle in the oil until emulsified. Set aside
  • salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 35 piparras peppers, in brine, finely chopped then patted with kitchen paper to remove as much moisture as possible
  • 1 garlic bulb, plus 2 cloves
  • 500ml of light olive oil
11
To serve, reheat the leeks in the oven, rubbed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. When they are ready, drizzle with some Arbequina olive oil. Reheat the cuttlefish stew with a ladle of the prawn bisque and the picada
  • pepper
  • salt
  • olive oil, preferably Arbequina olive oil
12
When the stew becomes thick, serve with the leeks and paparras allioli. Grate over a little dark chocolate, top with chives and serve
  • dark chocolate
  • chives