Villa Kitchen Highlights: Octopus in Red Wine

At Villa Hurmuses we pride ourselves for the hearty home cooked dishes inspired by local ingredients and seasonality. Ana Marie’s recipes delight the senses of our villa guests who ask us to share her refined version of Greek cuisine. Among the favorites is her signature dish — octopus in red wine. In today’s Villa Kitchen Highlights series, we are sharing the techniques on how you can prepare the octopus dish in your own kitchen.


Cooking Octopus at Villa Hurmuses

 Octopus is a much loved Greek dish and has been eaten in Greece since ancient times. Cooking octopus may vary from destination to destination and there is a bit of “mystery” around the best techniques used to keep the final outcome tender and juicy. While on holiday in Greece, some hanging octopus drying out in the sun may have caught your eye. It is actually an effective technique of ensuring the octopus is tender enough to grill.  Octopus are left out in the sun, for at least one day, to dry. 


Cooking octopus may seem like a challenge if you have never done it.  However, by using the right blend of fine ingredients and by applying several cooking techniques, the outcome will be both visually and tastefully appealing.


Here is our step-by-step guide to cooking octopus just the way Ana Marie does at Villa Hurmuses.


Octopus in Red Wine recipe




1.7 kg fresh octopus


3 onions sliced


1 glass of extra virgin olive oil


1 glass of red wine




bay leaves



 Total cooking time, approximately 1 hour. 

Wash the octopus well and dry it with a paper towel.

Place the octopus in a cooking pan, cover it with a lid and simmer on a medium fire for about 20 minutes. Boil the octopus   in its own juices as it is.


Place the octopus in the pan


Remove the octopus from the pan and cut it up into small pieces. Cut up the head and the tentacles. Place them back into the pan.


Remove it after about 20 minutes


Cut the octopus up into pieces

Add in the slices of onion, olive oil and red wine. Season with pepper. Do not add salt as the octopus is naturally salty. 


Mix in all the ingredients

Add a few bay leaves for taste, cover with a lid and cook on a medium fire until tender for approximately another 40-45 minutes. 



Octopus in red wine sauce

Enjoy the flavorful octopus in red wine dish paired with a glass of fine wine. Have you tried this signature Greek dish before?


Leave a Reply