When I found a huge octopus in my lobster pot one morning it was still in the midst of devouring my lobster catch so I decided to take the octopus home to provide an alternative meal for my curious house guests from Queensland.
Here you can see the lobster had been snapped in half by the octopus.
Thinking about cooking the octopus, I tried to render up some memories of Greek island hopping where I had observed local fishermen throttling octopus into tender submission but those memories had faded so my friend Jan sent through some U Tube video tutorials on Cooking Octopus 101.
Once home we sedated the octopus in an Esky of fresh water and let it brood awhile. My main concern for preparation was the chapter on beheading. I can tell you that it was disconcerting to chop off a head about the size of my own.
I brought a huge pot of water to the boil, added two fat handfuls of salt and three lemons I had quartered. Then I held the octopus over the boiling water and submerged it for a minute, once the tentacles began to curl back toward me, I lifted it out and repeated this exercise two more times.This is a monster but it did shrink on cooking. A hand shows just how big that head was.
It is in another league altogether from simply cooking a kilo of shop bought baby octopus on a barbecue.
I had planned to barbecue it but I did not cook it long enough in the water to soften fully so I sliced it finely and added it to a wok with oil, chilli and garlic. If you are a Facebook friend of mine you will see a video I posted today 18 January, 2012 on cooking the octopus.
The waters of Binalong Bay here in Tasmania continue to keep me amused and well fed.