Known for their Argentinian cooking and rockabilly charm, Porteño’s co-chefs Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz have been shaking up the Sydney food scene since they opened their first restaurant in 2010.

The restaurant has moved a few times but their braised octopus has appeared on every menu. It has an interesting origin story: Milgate dated an Italian girl when he was young and her father would make braised octopus for the family. While Milgate has given the dish a Porteño spin, the fundamentals have stayed the same.

Abrahanowicz describes it as “rich and meaty for people who don’t like the flavour of octopus too much”.

“You get that beautiful texture from it – and it’s foolproof, it’s very easy to make,” he says.

Serves 8

Red wine braised octopus

2kg medium octopus
150ml malbec wine
2 red onions
Salt
Extra virgin olive oil

Clean octopus and cut into individual legs and the hood into quarters. Place octopus in a flat, wide, shallow pot and cover with thinly sliced red onion, the wine and the oil. Add a pinch of salt.

Bring to the boil and keep it there for about 20 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer until octopus is tender and the liquid is reduced to a sauce-like consistency.

Remove from heat but keep octopus in the braising liquid. Allow it to rest for about 30 minutes before plating.



Porteño restaurant’s co-chef and co-owner Elvis Abrahanowicz in Sydney. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Celeriac puree
1 large celeriac
80g butter
80ml extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Splash of cream or milk

Peel and thinly slice celeriac.

Place butter and extra virgin olive oil in a pan and cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Add celeriac and stew over medium heat until tender.

Once tender, remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Place in a blender with a splash of cream. Blend until super smooth.

Radicchio salad
1 small head of radicchio
1 small head of kohlrabi
Extra virgin olive oil
Splash of sherry vinegar

Thinly slice radicchio and place in a bowl. Finely julienne kohlrabi and add to the radicchio.

Combinesherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and dress salad.

To serve

Spoon celeriac puree on to a plate. Top with pieces of octopus and some of the braising juices. Finish by placing the salad on top of the octopus.

Next weekend, Porteño’s oven-baked fish with red lentils braised in lobster broth



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