The food in Morocco is amazing.
I love to cook, so for me, trying new dishes is a special treat. Many of our friends rarely go to restaurants as they cook for themselves, and the culture of sharing is endemic, so we get to sample some incredible food.
One real favorite is Poulpe. It’s a Moroccan octopus stew, a local delicacy in this region. Our neighbor was kind enough to share her family recipe with us, so we try to emulate it as best we can.
Octopus is very seasonal, so we normally buy enough to freeze down and use when we want to. Freezing them also tenderizes the meat.
Preparing the octopus is a bit messy, you need to wash, boil and remove all the nasty bits, then cut it into pieces – I rarely use the head as in my opinion, there is little meat and lots of work to add little – but the tentacles and body add a lot of meat to the dish.
Moroccan cooking is all about building layers of flavors, starting with a good base of garlic, onions, and tomatoes and then adding a range of spices to build depth and breadth. You then add the meat, olives, lemons, and the passata. Normally, whole chilis are added too, but Karen cannot eat chilis so I cook them separately and add them at the end for those who like them.
I do cheat a bit – we brought a slow cooker from England and we use it a lot, rather than slowly simmering for hours and topping up with water, the slow cooker never dries out and cooks perfectly over a long time.
The best way to eat this dish is with friends and using your hands, and as always in Morocco, with locally made bread.
It’s normally a winter warmer dish, but we love it and serve it all year round.
If you do happen to see it on a menu anywhere, try it – even if you don’t like the thought of eating octopus, you will be pleasantly surprised – Enjoy!