Saturday, 25 February 2012

Portuguese Octopus Stew

During Lent, it is customary for our family to eat fish or seafood on Fridays.  Since we already had the octopus prepped and ready, I planned to cook it for Friday night's dinner.  This time, we used our trusty Presto Pressure Cooker.  It was a wedding gift from my mother, and to be honest with you, I only started using it on a weekly basis when Mom came to stay with us. 

The Pressure Cooker is amazing.  You can cook meals in literally minutes with this volcanic device.  Now we are comfortable using it, we cook Cacoila, Ribs, Chicken, Pork Chops, Soups, Beans and Potatoes and Octopus in it. Don't cook Pea Soup in it like I did, you might end up with a green ceiling!

We followed my Aunt Filomena's recipe for the Octopus Stew. My aunt is a pro at using a pressure cooker, she always has one on her stove top and can whip up a meal in less than no time.  She is also a great cook.  She makes all sorts of soups, jams, cakes, malasadas, sausages, pickled onions and makes the best home made french fries!

Tia Filomena's Octopus Stew:

You will need:
One Prepared Octopus (you can by it already cleaned and prepped at the store)
1 cup of white wine
1 cup of red wine
1 cup of water
1/2 cup olive oil (light)
1/2 vegetable oil
2 tsp of Portuguese Calda de Pimenta (pepper sauce)
1 tablespoon of Piri Piri or Hot Sauce
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parsley- chopped
Garlic minced
Onion chopped
Potatoes- peeled and quartered

Marinate octopus will all the above ingredients except the onions and the potatoes at least for a day. Save the marinate as it will be the liquid used for cooking.  

Here's what the marinade looked like:

Method using a Pressure Cooker

1. Add a little olive oil to the pot and begin to cook the onion.  Do not top the cooker yet.
2.Once the onion has cooked for a few minutes, add the octopus and the marinade. (The potatoes will be added later.)
3. Place the lid on the Pressure Cooker and cook on medium heat until there is a continuous flow of steam being expelled from the vent.  At this time, add the weight onto the top of the Pressure Cooker.
4.Cook the octopus for 5-8 minutes with the weight consistently rocking from the steam's force.
5. Remove the pot from the stove, cool, remove the top and check for tenderness.
6. If tender, add the potatoes, cover pot- do not add the weight yet.  (If not tender yet, return the pot to the stove with the lid on and weight and cook a little longer and then check for tenderness again.)
7. Once the vent has a consistent flow of steam, add the weight and cook the potatoes for 2 minutes.
8. At this point the octopus and potatoes are fully cooked, turn off the pot, let cool, remove weight and lid and enjoy.

This dish is thoroughly enjoyed with a glass of red wine and some nice crusty bread to help mop up the spicy sauce.


  1. sounds good! I have never had octopus stew... and I have never used a pressure cooker.. I may have to look in to that!

    1. Pressure Cookers are amazing- truly meals in minutes. We make our spare ribs using it and then we broil them in the oven- done in less than half an hour.

    2. if one doesn't have a pressure cooker and uses the oven top, how long will it take to do? My moms would take a couple of hours.

  2. I will have to try hubby will love it!!!