polvo à lagareiro com batata a murro

I realise I’ve been somewhat disparaging of Portuguese food lately so I’m hoping to redeem myself by sharing something special with you. Allow me to introduce my favourite Portuguese dish, polvo à lagareiro com batata a murro, which is octopus served with baby baked potatoes and lashings of olive oil and tastes absolutely delicious.

If you’ve never tried octopus before, don’t be put off by the suckers; you can scrape them off if you don’t fancy them, at least that’s what I do. The actual flesh is lovely and tender and has a slightly sweet, delicate flavour. The combination of octopus and batatas a murros (punched potatoes) works very well. These are no ordinary spuds; breaking the skin and allowing the olive oil to soak the insides makes them taste fantastic.

Polvo à lagareira or octopus with baby baked potatoes and olive oil
Polvo à lagareira or octopus with baby baked potatoes and olive oil from ‘O Gato’ in Lousã

How to cook Polvo à Lagareiro

There are various recipes around but essentially, you cook the octopus with some sliced onion by boiling it or using a pressure cooker.

Meanwhile, bake some new potatoes with their skins on.

When they’re cooked, punch the potatoes (gently!) to break the skin and arrange them in a dish around the cooked octopus.

Add several cloves of garlic and a bay leaf, possibly some extra sliced onion and sliced green pepper if you fancy it.

Pour copious amounts of olive oil over everything and cook in the oven for half an hour.

Restaurant recommendations

Personally, I’d rather let the experts handle the cooking side of things so I only ever have it in restaurants. My local restaurant,A Grelha in Vila Nova de Poiares does a very nice version, as does O Gato in Lousã (but it’s not always on the menu, unfortunately) and A Taberna in Coimbra serves delicious octopus, even though it isn’t served with batatas a murros.

What’s your favourite Portuguese dish? Let me know in the comments.



  1. oh I love it – and squid!
    you are making me hungry now!!! ………… 😉

  2. Octopus is awesome, I love it. However, I never had it in Portugal and now, seeing your photo, I wish I had. My favourite Portuguese dish is Caldo Verde.

  3. Ohhh Julie my mouth waters already…this is one of my favourite dishes, so, so yummi with loads of olive oil. I have only once found octopus here in Perth, so I have cooked this dish with calamari which is just not the same.

    1. Author

      Hi Sami, what a shame you can’t get octopus easily. I’d have thought it would be no problem being on the coast but obviously it is. 🙁

  4. I tried octopus once and I am afraid it put me off for life

    1. Author

      That’s a shame. I was very wary of it and not overly impressed the first time I tried it so I can understand how easy it is to be put off it.

      I can’t remember why I had another go but I’m very glad I did. When it’s cooked right, it’s divine.

      1. well – and this is only because of you – I might give it a try again…one day

        1. Author

          Well, I really hope you like it if you do try it again 🙂

  5. Oh Wow. I’m gonna try and make that! Sounds so easy! (Dribble, dribble…)

    1. Author

      It SOUNDS easy, and it should be, but let me know how you get on. I’d check online for timings of how to cook octopus first 🙂

  6. oh stop it you’re making me hungry! I love salada de polvo!

    1. Author

      No apologies. Go eat some 🙂

  7. I love your entry for this week theme Julie ,Yummy 🙂

    1. Author

      Thanks, you should try it if you get the chance.

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