Recipe for Greek Style Octopus Stew

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Octopus can be intimidating to cook, but this recipe is a hit every time. Although stifado traditionally uses rabbit and other meats, it is often prepared with seafood like octopus in areas of Greece where it is widely available.

Greek Style Octopus Stew (Oktopodi Stifado) Recipe Ingredients:

  • 12 cups water
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds of octopus (will need about 2 whole octopus), cleaned
  • 3 1/2 pounds shallots, peeled, trimmed, and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cups red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 5 medium tomatoes, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

How to Make Greek Octopus Stew:

Bring 12 cups of water to a boil in a large stockpot set over high heat. When the water boils, add 1/2 cup of the olive oil and then the octopus and boil over medium-high heat for 30 minutes with the pot uncovered. Drain the water and let the octopus cool.

Run octopus under cold water once you can handle them and peel away the dark skin. Cut the octopus into 1/2 inch pieces after you peel it.

Add the rest of the olive oil to a skillet set over medium heat and add the shallots. Saute for a few minutes and then add the octopus. Saute them together for an additional five minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another two minutes.

Add the wine and stir the pan with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom. Add the bay leaves, salt, pepper, rosemary, tomatoes, and wine vinegar and stir the ingredients together. Heat over medium until the mixture boils. Reduce the mixture to a simmer and cook for another 20-30 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley just before serving. Note, you can cut the octopus into larger pieces if desired.

PLEASE NOTE: Greek recipes can be slightly different based on a variety of reasons, such as the region of Greece that the recipe is being made in. If you have seen this Greek recipe made another way, please send us an email to greekboston@worldwidegreeks.com and we will evaluate your suggestion. Thanks!

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This post was written by Greek Boston