This slow-cooked seafood dish is perfect with a squeeze of lemon and crusty bread. Peka refers to the traditional Croatian fireproof vessel, with a metal, bell-shaped lid that’s used to cook food over hot coals. More coals are piled over the dish for even cooking, resulting in the food steaming in its own juices.
- 1 kg (about 3 medium) octopus, heads cleaned
- 500 g (about 3) sebago potatoes, peeled, thickly sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 carrots, thickly sliced
- 2 zucchinis, cut into 5cm-thick pieces
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 125 ml (½ cup) dry white wine
- lemon wedges and crusty bread, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat oven to 250°C. Remove and discard skin from octopus. (Use your fingers to separate skin from flesh, then pull away.) Remove heads, cut into 3 pieces.
Toss potatoes, garlic, carrots and zucchinis in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 40 cm baking dish, add oil and cover tightly with foil and an upturned stainless-steel bowl. (If you have a peka dish, or tajine, preheat it according to manufacturer’s instructions and place mixture inside it.)
Bake for 1 hour, then carefully remove the lid and pour over wine. Replace lid and bake for a further 30 minutes or until vegetables and octopus are tender. Serve with lemon wedges and crusty bread.
As seen in Feast magazine, Feb 2012, Issue 6. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.
Photography by Janyon.