RECIPE: Portuguese (Azorean) Octopus Stew (Polvo Guisado)
As a little girl, I used to sit in the kitchen, while my Mom cooked, and I would watch her closely.
My Mom loved to cook for us, her kids and husband. Even after she got sick, she still continued to cook when she had the strength to; sometimes, she even let me help. After she got sick, I started cooking most of the family Lunches and Dinners.
Being from a big Portuguese family, food was a big part of family gatherings. When I got into my middle teens, I used to keep a notebook in the kitchen. Every time she would start to cook, I would pull out the notebook and write down the ingredients that would go into each dish.
Whenever I travel to the Azores, this is always one of my favorite traditional dishes to order at a restaurant.
Today, in memory of my Mom, I am sharing a popular Portuguese dish with you, Azorean Octopus Stew (Polvo Guisado). Please bear in mind that this is more of a comfort food type of dish, and not for those watching their waistlines.
I hope you enjoy it! HAPPY COOKING!!!
- 3 lb frozen package of Octopus (thawed in the refridgerator overnight)
- 2 Tbsps crushed Red Pepper Sauce (Pimenta Moída)
- 1 Tbsp of Paprika (Optional)
- 2-3 Tbsps Olive Oil
- 1-2 Onions, chopped
- 3 cloves of Garlic, chopped
- 2 cups of Red Wine OR 1 cup of Red and 1 cup of White
- 8-10 Potatoes, diced
- 1 Tbsp of Tomato Paste
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Parsley (Optional)
- Rinse the Octopus in fresh water thoroughly.
- Cut out the eyes and beak - also known as the ink sack (Some people like to remove the head altogether)
- Cut the Octopus 1-2 inch pieces. (Octopus will shrink in size while cooking)
- In a large pot, add the Olive Oil, Onions and garlic in pot and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the Octopus, crushed Red Pepper Sauce (Pimenta Moída), Wine, Salt and Pepper, Tomato Paste, and stir.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Let it cook for 1 ½ hours, keep stirring frequently.
- (If you notice that the liquid is absorbing quickly, add 1 cup of Water OR another cup of Wine)
- Once the stew has cooked for the 1 ½ hours, add the Potatoes and Parsley (if desired)
- Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, then check, if the potatoes are cooked through.
- Taste the stew and check to see if you need additional Salt and Pepper.
- **Ladle into a bowl and serve with crusty bread or Portuguese Corn Bread
Have you cooked Azorean Octopus Stew? Have you ever tried it while at a Restaurant or Family/Friend’s house? Leave me a comment below, and LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS!