Now I don't have a peka, I have a large round Turkish electric oven, so I have worked out how to make a 'peka', without having a peka. If you are looking for a traditional recipe, just click the link above the recipe, it can be found there.
My husband added the olives, which we love, but if you don't like them, don't add them.
This is easy to make and looks amazing at the dinner table.
1 x 2 kg octopus
4 garlic cloves, crushed
250ml light extra-virgin olive oil
1.5kg potatoes, peeled and quartered
Vegeta, to taste
10 French shallots
4 large carrots, quartered lengthwise
1 lemon, juiced
6 small rosemary sprigs
8 large olives, optional
1/2 lemon, cut into wedges, optional
250ml dry white wine
To clean the octopus, use a small knife to carefully cut between the head and tentacles of the octopus, just below the eyes. Grasp the body of the octopus and push the beak out and up through the centre of the tentacles with your finger. Cut the eyes from the head of the octopus by slicing a small disc off with a sharp knife. Discard the eye section. To clean the octopus head, carefully slit through one side and scrape out any gut from inside. Rinse under running water to remove any remaining grit.
Once cleaned, use some tongs to lower the octopus into a pot of barely boiling water, simmer for approximately 20–25 minutes. Remove, drain and cut into quarters. (Simmering helps with the tenderisation process and also removes water from the body of the octopus. If you do not remove the latent water in the octopus, the dish will become more like a stew.
Preheat your turkish oven to 300C.
Combine the garlic with 150 ml of the oil and set aside.
Line the bottom of the peka pan with the potatoes, sprinkle with a little vegeta, to taste and drizzle with the remaining oil. Add the French shallots, carrots, olives, lemon wedges and octopus. Season liberally with about 1½ tablespoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, and drizzle over the garlic oil. Squeeze over the juice of a ½ lemon and garnish with rosemary sprigs.
After 45 minutes, pull out the peka, remove the foil and turn over the octopus, potatoes, carrots, garlic and shallots with a large spoon. Pour over the white wine and return the pan, uncovered, back into the oven.
Cook for a further 30 minutes. If you find that the liquid in the peka has evaporated more than you like, add a little more oil and white wine to remoisten.
Remove the peka from the oven and squeeze over the remaining lemon juice before serving.
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