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Le Bernardin chef Eric Ripert is a master at weaving together unexpected ingredients, like this tender charred octopus with a sauce of salty fermented black beans and sweet pear. Finding a wine pairing for such a complex dish, however, is a challenge. "It needs a very aromatic wine, just to stand up to all the flavors," says wine director Aldo Sohm. More Recipes by Eric Ripert

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Eric Ripert
January 2010

Gallery

Credit: © Michael Turek

Recipe Summary

active:
40 mins
total:
1 hr 20 mins
Yield:
4
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Ingredients

Octopus
Black Bean–Pear Sauce
Miso Vinaigrette
To Finish

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large, deep skillet, combine 2 quarts of water with the onion, garlic, parsley, prosciutto and salt. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Add the octopus to the broth, cover partially and simmer over low heat until tender, about 1 hour; drain and pat dry.

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  • In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the black beans and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and shallot and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and jalapeño and cook until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pear and remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and chives.

  • In a small bowl, whisk the miso with the balsamic vinegar, oil, squid ink and 2 tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper.

  • In a bowl, mix the olive oil with the paprika and rub it all over the cooked octopus; season with salt. In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the octopus and cook over high heat until browned all over, about 6 minutes. Transfer the octopus to a carving board and slice it crosswise 1/3 inch thick.

  • Spread the vinaigrette on 4 plates and top with the octopus. Spoon the black bean–pear sauce over the octopus. Garnish with the arugula and pear wedges and serve.

Suggested Pairing

He suggests a spicy Gewürztraminer. For a red, he likes a fruit-forward wine with soft tannins. Try Sohm's pick—a Sonoma Zinfandel.

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