Braised squid with preserved lemons, garlic and bay

Braised squid with preserved lemons, garlic and bay

This one pot recipe is a great way to cook squid if you're not in the mood for quickly chargrilling or (deep?)frying it.  Squid needs to be cooked for a short amount of time at a high temperature or braised for a much longer time at a low temperature.  This ensures you get lovely tender squid.  If you hit the middle ground, you'll be cursed with chewy tough squid that everyone knows isn't at all pleassant.   If yours is chewy for whatever reason, then just continue to cook for a little longer.

Fresh bay leaves have so much more flavour than dried, so do try to find some - you can always surruptitiously cut a few from some obliging neighbour's bush.

Serves 4-5

  • 120ml olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic (or 6 if v large), bruised
  • 1 large sprig rosemary
  • 5 bay leaves (ideally fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 4 small preserved lemons (about 80g), finely diced
  • 600g peeled potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 800g cleaned squid, cut into rings about 1.5cm thick
  • 150ml white wine
  • 2 tbsp each of chopped fresh mint, coriander and parsley
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil for serving

Preheat your oven to 165°C. Heat the oil in a heavy based oven proof casserole dish. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves and roesemary and cook gently for 15 minutes until the onions have softened and reduced down somewhat.

Now add the turmeric, coriander and chopped preserved lemons.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the squid and potatoes to the pan, give it a good mix and then add the white wine and some salt and black pepper.  Bring back to simmering point and then pop in the oven for an hour.

After the hour have a look and see what's going on.  It should still be saucy but should have reduced.  The potatoes should be pretty soft and the squid almost tender.  If there's a little too much liquid, finish it off on a moderate heat on the hob, with the lid off, stirring occasionally with a gentle touch to ensure the potatoes don't break.  If the liquid feels about right then simply pop it back in the oven for the last 15 minutes.

Once ready, season a little more if needs be and then simply stir in the fresh herbs and drizzle over copious amounts of extra virgin olive oil to serve.

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