Pulpo a la Gallega or Pulpo a Feira (Galician name meaning ‘fair style octopus) is a traditional dish from the region of Galicia. It is the main dish during the patron saint festivities of the city of Lugo. Cooking fresh octopus is not such a daunting process, the key to it, is to get the right timing on the cooking of the octopus, so you don’t end up with the octopus being too tough or too soft. Fresh octopus needs to be tenderised before cooking by pounding it heavily to avoid the dish becoming rubbery. Traditionally, this is done by hitting the octopus against a wall or stone. At home, you don’t need to do this…freezing the octopus helps the meat tenderise. Traditionally, pulpo is cooked in a copper cauldron, allowing 12 minutes per 1kg of octopus. Pulpo a la gallega tends to be paired well with a young red wine, ideally slightly chilled.
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