Pulpo a la Gallega

Pulpo a la Gallega

Serves 4

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Directions

Place ham, celery, onion, garlic, peppercorns, paprika, and parsley in a large pot of water. Bring to a slow simmer over medium-low heat and cook for 1 hour. After 1 hour, place the whole octopus in the stock and cook, uncovered, until completely tender or can be easily pierced with a sharp knife, 45 minutes to 1½ hours. Remove the octopus from the cooking liquid and set aside to cool.

Remove tentacles from the head of cooled octopus, and slice into ½-inch pieces.

Arrange octopus pieces in a round shape in the center of each plate. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish generously with paprika. Drizzle with olive oil and a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice. Serve immediately.

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Ingredients

2 cups ham, cut into 1-inch
   pieces (Jamon de Bayon or
   Prosciutto)
3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch
   pieces
½ large onion, cut into 1-inch
   pieces
1 head garlic, cloves separated
1 tablespoon black
   peppercorns
3 tablespoons paprika, plus
   additional for garnish
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (4 to 6 pound) whole octopus,
   beak removed and tenderized
Fine sea salt and freshly
   ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sherry vinegar
1 lemon, sliced in half
   (optional)