Octopus in winesauce (Xtapodi krasato)

This is one of our absolute favourites, maybe because we catch our own octopus, when we stay in Crete. From October the bigger ones come closer to the shores and are easier to catch. Elafonissos is a good place for snorkling and for spearfishing.

An octopus can be cooked in many different ways and of course also grilled.

Try this recipe if you like octopus, it is really very nice.

  • 1 - 1½ kg octopus
  • 1 dl olive oil
  • 2 big onions roughly chopped
  • 1½ dl red wine (at least)
  • 250 gr canned and crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 6 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 bay leaves
  • black pepper, salt (at your taste)
  • 2 tbsp parsley chopped
  • 10-15 small champignons and just a little cinnamon (both optional and at your taste)
  1. Clean the octopus and skin it (only if you think it is a must). Cut it in smaller pieces and put it into a saucepan over medium heat to release the liquid. Stir until the liquid has evaporated.
  2. Add the oil and the onions  (champignons optional) and saute for about 10 minutes, stir now and then.
  3. Add wine, vinegar, tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano and bay leaves and several grindings of pepper. Stir well.
  4. Cover the pan and simmer until octopus is tender (about 1 -1½ hour). Check and stir now and then and add water or more wine if required. The sauce should be thick.
  5. Take out the bay leaves, adjust seasoning if necessary.  Try just a little cinnamon (optional of course).  Cut into smaller pieces and finally stir in the parsley.
  6. Serve with rice and a nice salad and bread. Kali orexi!