Just when you think octopus or salami couldn’t get any better, it just did. And no, we’re not talking about surf ‘n’ turf here, just our favourite eight legged creature from the deep compressed into the shape of salami. It’s one of those brilliant food items that is so incredible to look at, yet with a little time and patience, so simple to make.
Feature the salami on your next antipasto platter or cured meat plate, paired with a salad it makes for a beautiful light summer meal.
To make one small roll of salami (about five .5mm slices) you’ll need
- I large octopus, gutted and cleaned
- a mix of red, green & black peppercorns
- 5 cloves of garlic
Cut the tentacles into individual lengths and clean the excess skin off them (it has a purple grey tinge) with your fingers. You don’t have to be too precious about this process as you can clean it again after cooking.
Place octopus in a large pot and cover with water. To this water add mixed peppercorns, garlic cloves, salt. You can pretty much throw any variety of herbs and spices into the braising liquid. For this recipe we kept it pretty simple, but feel free to add coriander, fennel tips, star anise, coriander seeds depending of the use of the salami.
Bring the water to a simmer and cook octopus for 45 mins – 1 hour or until tender. Be careful not to boil the octopus. Remember cooking time will vary based on the size and freshness of the octopus.
While octopus is cooking, preparing the mould. Cut the bottom 1/3 of a 1.5L soft drink bottle off. Cut down the edges in 4 places so you are able to fold it. Make 6 small holes in the bottom of the bottom to allow excess liquid to drain.
Remove octopus from liquid and allow to cool slightly. Finish cleaning the octopus by removing any excess skin (will now be a pinky grey colour).
Layer the octopus tentacles into the bottom of the soft drink container one on top of another. Fold over the plastic bottom, place in a small bowl (to catch excess liquid that drains out) and compress with another bottle full of liquid. It is important to keep as much pressure on the octopus as possible as it’s own juices will act as gelatin and hold it all together. Refrigerate for a least 6 hours, or overnight.
Once set, remove the vessel from the fridge and cut down the edges of the bottom to release the salami. The end result should be a cylindrically- shaped mass that resembles salami. Take a sharp knife and cut meat into desired portion sizes.