Have you ever heard of Polvo à Lagareiro? If not, you’re in for a treat! This traditional Portuguese dish is made with octopus, potatoes, olive oil, and garlic and it’s a flavor explosion in your mouth. Trust me when I say that once you try it, you’ll be hooked.
But where did this delicious dish come from? The origins of Polvo à Lagareiro are uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in the Trás-os-Montes Province of Portugal. The name “Lagareiro” refers to an individual who works in an olive oil press (lagar) and is used in this recipe due to the large amount of olive oil used to drizzle over the octopus.
Polvo à Lagareiro is actually a variation of another traditional Portuguese dish called Bacalhau à Lagareiro. This dish is made with salt cod instead of octopus and is also served with crushed boiled potatoes (batatas a murro) roasted in the oven with olive oil and garlic 3.
Polvo à Lagareiro is one of those dishes that seems fancy and complicated but is actually super easy to make at home. And the best part? It’s impressive enough to serve to dinner guests but also perfect for a cozy night in with your family.
The key to this dish is the octopus. I know, I know. Octopus can seem intimidating to cook with but trust me, it’s easier than you think. The trick is to cook it until it’s tender and then roast it in the oven with the potatoes until everything is golden brown and delicious.
And let’s talk about those potatoes for a second. They’re boiled until tender and then crushed (or “murro” in Portuguese) before being roasted in the oven with the octopus. The result is a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior that’s the perfect vehicle for soaking up all that delicious olive oil and garlic.
But enough talking, let’s get cooking! In this post, I’ll show you step-by-step how to make Polvo à Lagareiro at home. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is and how delicious the results are. So grab your apron and let’s get started!
- 1 octopus, about 2.2 lbs
- 2.2 lbs of potatoes
- 4 cloves of garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- Chopped parsley
- Start by cooking your octopus in boiling water until it’s tender and oh-so-delicious (about 45 minutes).
- While your octopus is cooking, get those potatoes going! Boil them with their skin on until they’re nice and tender (about 20 minutes).
- Once your octopus is cooked to perfection, drain it and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
- Drain your potatoes and place them in a baking dish. Give each one a little press with a cloth so they’re slightly crushed and ready to soak up all that flavor.
- Nestle your octopus pieces between the potatoes in the baking dish.
- Season everything with salt and pepper to taste.
- Thinly slice your garlic cloves and sprinkle them over the top of the octopus and potatoes.
- Drizzle everything generously with olive oil (because everything is better with olive oil!).
- Bake in a preheated oven at 392°F until everything is golden brown and delicious (about 20 minutes).
- Serve hot, sprinkled with chopped parsley for a pop of color and freshness.
- Polvo à Lagareiro is a traditional Portuguese dish that is typically served with crushed boiled potatoes (batatas a murro) that are roasted in the oven with the octopus. The dish is usually accompanied by a generous amount of olive oil and garlic.
- There are many ways you can vary this recipe to suit your taste. Here are some ideas:
- Add other herbs and spices: You can experiment with adding other herbs and spices to the dish, such as thyme, rosemary, or paprika.
- Add vegetables: You can add other vegetables to the dish, such as bell peppers, onions, or cherry tomatoes.
- Change the cooking method: Instead of boiling the octopus, you could try grilling or pan-searing it for a different flavor and texture.
- Serve with a sauce: You could serve the dish with a sauce, such as a lemon butter sauce or a spicy tomato sauce.
- These are just a few ideas to get you started. Feel free to get creative and make the dish your own!