Risotto al Polpo e Chorizo (Octopus and Chorizo Risotto)

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I love it when a reader reports about having tried a recipe from this blog, and even more so when they post a picture on Stefan’s Gourmet Blog’s Facebook page. Jev Kuznetsov did something similar, as he started with my recipe for octopus sous-vide, and then used it to make risotto with chorizo. I really liked that idea, and so I made this as well.

When you cook octopus sous-vide, a lot of liquid is released. This liquid is very flavorful, so it would be a waste to discard it. It is perfect to make risotto. This octopus and chorizo risotto is a flavor bomb, with great depth of flavor. If you don’t have sous-vide, you could still get a similar result by boiling the octopus as one normally boils an octopus (which I have never actually done, but I’m sure you can find how to do this online) with the same vegetables and other ingredients in the cooking water, and then reduce the cooking water to the amount needed for the risotto. This should produce a fairly similar result.

Jev, thanks for the inspiration! Here’s what I did…

Ingredients

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For 2 servings

For the octopus

1 kg (2.2 lbs) octopus legs

1 onion

1 carrot

2 celery stalks

6 black pepper corns

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic

salt

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For the risotto

1 bell pepper, diced

1/2 onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

50 grams (1.8 oz) soft chorizo (i.e. not the dried variety), diced

130 grams (2/3 cup) risotto rice, such as carnaroli

80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine

salt

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley

Preparation

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Mince 1 carrot, 1 onion, 2 celery stalks, 1 clove garlic, and 1 bay leaf. I use the food processor to do this quickly.

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Vacuum seal 1 kg (2.2 lbs) octopus legs with the vegetable mixture as well as some salt and 6 black peppercorns.

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Cook sous-vide for 3 hours at 85°C/185°F.

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Strain and reserve the liquid from the bag…

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…pressing down on the vegetables to get as much liquid as possible.

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Put the octopus ‘stock’ in a pot and keep it simmering. Reserve the octopus.

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Cook 50 grams (1.8 oz) diced chorizo in a frying pan with a tablespoon of olive oil until golden.

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Add 1 bell pepper, diced and 1/2 onion, minced.

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Sauté until the onion is soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

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Add 130 grams (2/3 cup) risotto rice…

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…and 1 minced clove of garlic.

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Stir for a minute over medium heat.

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Add 80 ml (1/3 cup) of dry white wine…

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…and 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika. Stir over medium heat until the wine has been absorbed.

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Add a ladle of the hot octopus liquid…

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…and stir over medium heat until it has been absorbed. Keep stirring and keep adding more stock as soon as it has been absorbed until the rice is almost cooked to your liking, about 15 minutes.

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Chop the octopus, keeping the ends for garnish.

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When the risotto is almost cooked to your liking…

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…add the chopped octopus, and stir to mix.

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Add 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper…

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…and another 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika.

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Add a tablespoon of minced parsley.

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Stir to incorporate. Taste and add salt or more cayenne pepper if needed. Allow the risotto to rest for a minute and the octopus to warm through. Warm up the reserved octopus legs on top.

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Serve on preheated plates.

Wine pairing

This dish is loaded with flavor, and thus needs a hefty wine. Full-bodied is an understatement. Although white is an obvious choice, rosé or red could also work. We enjoyed this with a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Riserva.

Flashback

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It is already over two years ago that Richard sent me a package of chiles and the challenge to cook a dish with at least five of them. The resulting Penne all’Arrabbiata with Napoletano Meatballs and Chile Pecorino Foam was very nice.

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12 thoughts on “Risotto al Polpo e Chorizo (Octopus and Chorizo Risotto)

  1. Love every ingredient – love the dish! Have not seen the ‘holy trinity’ blitzed before: great idea! Not being a ‘sous-vider’ [apologies to the English language] I guess a fish/seafood stock for the risotto should do for an approximation . . .

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    1. The blitzing is not how one is taught in chef school (not that I ever attended), but in a preparation like this I dare anyone to tell the difference in the final dish.
      I should have mentioned the approximation and will do that right now. The best approximation is to boil the octopus as one does with octopus if one doesn’t have sous-vide, and then reduce the stock/boiling liquid. The result should be fairly similar. If you were to keep the cooking water around 85 degrees for 3 hours, the result would even be very similar.

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  2. Oh my gosh. I love octopus, and can only eat it in restaurants, because I can’t find it where I live. Not even frozen. So sadly, I’ve never worked with it. And using the jus in the risotto must add such tremendous flavor. fabulous!!!

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