Octopus carpaccio with fennel and a red pepper and verjus dressing

This impressive starter from Matthew Street is for ambitious home cooks
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Octopus carpaccio

Matthew Street, executive chef at Seasons at The Eastbury Hotel in Sherborne, shares his recipe for octopus carpaccio with fennel and a red pepper and verjus dressing

www.theeastburyhotel.co.uk

Serves    4

Oven temp    170°c / gas 4

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  • You will need
  • Method

  • Paper cup 1

For the octopus

  • Octopus 2kg, cleaned
  • Red wine vinegar 60ml
  • Red wine 100ml
  • Lemon oil 1 tsp
  • Rosemary 1 tsp
  • Garlic 1 tsp, crushed
  • Peppercorns 1 tsp
  • Bay leaves 2
  • Gelatine sheets 2g

For the dressing

  • Dijon mustard 1 tsp
  • Honey 1 tsp
  • Verjus 100ml
  • Red wine vinegar 20ml
  • Paprika ½ tsp
  • Garlic 1 clove, crushed
  • Olive oil 200ml
  • Red peppers 2, charred, peeled, de-seeded and diced
  • Plum tomato 1, skinned, de-seeded and diced
  • Dill 1 tsp, chopped
  • Basil 1 tsp, chopped

For the fennel

  • Vinegar 1 tsp
  • Sugar 1 tsp
  • Saffron a pinch
  • Olive oil 1 tsp
  • Honey 1 tsp
  • Fennel 1 bulb, thinly sliced

To serve

  • Fresh dill and basil to garnish

  1. For the octopus: in a large bowl combine the octopus with the vinegar, wine, lemon oil, rosemary, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves. Mix well and set aside for 1 hour to marinate.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°c / gas 4. Wrap the octopus with the marinade in parchment paper and aluminium foil. Transfer to a baking pan and roast for 2 hours. Alternatively, if you have a water bath, sous vide for 5-6 hours.
  3. Once cooked, set aside the octopus and transfer 200ml of the marinade to a saucepan over a low heat. In a separate bowl, place the gelatin in cold water and allow to soften. Once softened, remove the leaves from the water and carefully stir into the marinade until combined.
  4. Line the paper cup with two pieces of clingfilm. Place the tentacles vertically in the cup, until the whole cup is filled. Pour in the marinade, then cover the cup with clingfilm and freeze upright until set.
  5. For the dressing: in a bowl, combine the mustard, honey, verjus, vinegar, paprika and garlic, then slowly add the oil to emulsify. In a separate bowl, combine the red pepper, tomato and herbs. Add the dressing to the red pepper mixture and season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
  6. For the fennel: in a small pan, gently warm the vinegar, sugar and saffron until the saffron starts to colour the mixture. Next, add the oil and honey and combine, then pour the liquid into a jar. Season the fennel slices with salt and pepper, then add to the jar. Leave to infuse for at least 2 hours or, ideally, overnight.
  7. To serve: carefully slice the octopus to roughly the thickness of a pound coin. Lightly season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Drizzle with the dressing and garnish with the fennel and fresh dill and basil.

You will need

  • Paper cup 1

For the octopus

  • Octopus 2kg, cleaned
  • Red wine vinegar 60ml
  • Red wine 100ml
  • Lemon oil 1 tsp
  • Rosemary 1 tsp
  • Garlic 1 tsp, crushed
  • Peppercorns 1 tsp
  • Bay leaves 2
  • Gelatine sheets 2g

For the dressing

  • Dijon mustard 1 tsp
  • Honey 1 tsp
  • Verjus 100ml
  • Red wine vinegar 20ml
  • Paprika ½ tsp
  • Garlic 1 clove, crushed
  • Olive oil 200ml
  • Red peppers 2, charred, peeled, de-seeded and diced
  • Plum tomato 1, skinned, de-seeded and diced
  • Dill 1 tsp, chopped
  • Basil 1 tsp, chopped

For the fennel

  • Vinegar 1 tsp
  • Sugar 1 tsp
  • Saffron a pinch
  • Olive oil 1 tsp
  • Honey 1 tsp
  • Fennel 1 bulb, thinly sliced

To serve

  • Fresh dill and basil to garnish

Method

  1. For the octopus: in a large bowl combine the octopus with the vinegar, wine, lemon oil, rosemary, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves. Mix well and set aside for 1 hour to marinate.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°c / gas 4. Wrap the octopus with the marinade in parchment paper and aluminium foil. Transfer to a baking pan and roast for 2 hours. Alternatively, if you have a water bath, sous vide for 5-6 hours.
  3. Once cooked, set aside the octopus and transfer 200ml of the marinade to a saucepan over a low heat. In a separate bowl, place the gelatin in cold water and allow to soften. Once softened, remove the leaves from the water and carefully stir into the marinade until combined.
  4. Line the paper cup with two pieces of clingfilm. Place the tentacles vertically in the cup, until the whole cup is filled. Pour in the marinade, then cover the cup with clingfilm and freeze upright until set.
  5. For the dressing: in a bowl, combine the mustard, honey, verjus, vinegar, paprika and garlic, then slowly add the oil to emulsify. In a separate bowl, combine the red pepper, tomato and herbs. Add the dressing to the red pepper mixture and season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
  6. For the fennel: in a small pan, gently warm the vinegar, sugar and saffron until the saffron starts to colour the mixture. Next, add the oil and honey and combine, then pour the liquid into a jar. Season the fennel slices with salt and pepper, then add to the jar. Leave to infuse for at least 2 hours or, ideally, overnight.
  7. To serve: carefully slice the octopus to roughly the thickness of a pound coin. Lightly season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Drizzle with the dressing and garnish with the fennel and fresh dill and basil.
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