One of our most anticipated cookbooks of the season is here! Olympia Provisions, the famed house of American charcuterie in Portland, Oregon, opens its superb recipe collection to cured-meat fans everywhere. That’s right: You can do this at home. Pick up a copy and some curing salt and get yourself to a butcher (or in this case, a fishmonger), stat!
I’m semi-obsessed with the deliciousness of this dish and often find myself devouring it so quickly that I forget all about my wine. However, when I manage enough restraint to stop for a sip, I hope to find a crisp and silky Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc in my glass. The subtle grassiness in the wine with the fresh, herbaceous dill in the dish are two peas in a pod, and the salty octopus fits the minerally Sauvignon like a glove. If you’re feeling earthy and natural, get yourself some Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Sauvignon No. 2, but if you want to peer into the gates of heaven, find a bottle of Thomas-Labaille Sancerre. You will not regret it.
At OP, we embrace octopods of all sizes, and we like to think that they’ve wrapped their tentacles around our cooking and embraced us as well. While our customer favorite is the octo-snack, this terrine’s spare prep and fantastical presentation make it number one on the staff hit list.
- 2 cleaned octopi, weighing a total of 4 to 6 pounds
- 1 quart (1 liter) canola oil
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 yukon gold potatoes
- 6 black peppercorns
- 1/4 cup creme fraiche
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced on the bias
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon
For the terrine
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the smallest baking dish that will accommodate the octopus in a single layer, combine the octopus with the canola oil, white wine, and 1 bay leaf. The octopus should be mostly covered with oil. Cover the dish with its lid or aluminum foil and bake for about 12 minutes or until the skin is easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oil and let drain and cool.
Line a 9-by-12-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap and set the octopus parts inside. Push them down so they create an even layer of octopus flesh against the bottom and sides of the loaf pan. Wrap the plastic wrap over the top and weight down with an identical loaf pan or 2 cans of tomatoes. Place in the refrigerator.
Boil the potatoes in salted water with the remaining bay leaf and the black peppercorns until they are very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and let cool. Once the potatoes are very cool, combine in a bowl with the crème fraîche, green onion, half the dill, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep in mind that octopus itself is inherently salty, so don’t overdo it.
Carefully, with a sharp-as-all-hell knife, slice the terrine thinly and divide the slices among four plates. Gingerly dollop potato salad next to each portion of terrine. Garnish both the terrine and the potato salad with the remaining dill. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.