Zana Grilled Spanish Octopus.jpg


Start to finish: 2 hours

Servings: 4


  • octopus tentacles
  • court bouillon, enough to cover the octopus completely
  • 1 pound slab bacon, diced
  • 2 medium Vidalia or any sweet onion
  • 1 cup shishito peppers, sliced with seeds
  • 16 baby creamer potatoes
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown or Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 sprigs sage
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • butter
  • salt


In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high, bring the poaching liquid to a gentle simmer (Chef Jason Bamford uses a court bouillon, a French culinary term that means “briefly boiled broth” and typically utilizes a different recipe each time based on the ingredients found in the kitchen — though it’s important it contains no meat or animal collagen). Place a whole octopus in the court bouillon, cover, and cook until tender, approximately 30-45 minutes. If cooking just octopus tentacles, use the same method and judge the tenderness of the octopus by pushing a knife into one of the tentacles; if it easily pushes into the thickest part of the flesh, it’s cooked. Remove the octopus from the pot, let cool, and set the tentacles aside.

In a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat, render bacon, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon once rendered, and set aside to cool. Add the onions, shishito peppers, and half the head of minced garlic to the bacon fat, stirring until golden brown, roughly 30-45 minutes. Reduce to a low simmer. Chop the bacon and add it back to the skillet, along with brown sugar, 1/3 cup cider vinegar, maple syrup, brewed coffee, 1 sprig of sage, 1 sprig of rosemary, and 4 sprigs of thyme. Cook slowly until the liquid evaporates and the mixture becomes a syrup consistency.

As the bacon jam is cooking, combine the following ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon spicy brown or Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 teaspoons horseradish, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Set the Alabama white sauce aside.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the baby creamer potatoes until soft, about 12-15 minutes. Drain and allow to cool for a few minutes. Crush the potatoes between your palms. Place a skillet on medium heat and add butter, garlic, chili flakes, salt, and a squeeze of lemon. Chop the remaining herbs and add to the skillet. Place the potatoes in the pan and tip the skillet to spoon the mixture over the potatoes.

On a plate, stack a pile of potatoes, followed by a few dollops of jam on top. Stack the cooked octopus tentacles on top and drizzle the Alabama white sauce to taste.

Read more about Chef Jason Bamford and Zana. 

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