For those who have never heard of “tielle”, it is a food specialty from Sète, a small town by the mediterranean coast in the Languedoc. The stoy goes that this recipe was imported by Italian immigrants from the Cianni family more than 50 years ago. It is a delicious octopus pie. You will need to find these, which is not easy. The best location is the daily growers’ market in Sète with the best local fishmongers. These dirty little beasts are not very fun to cook but I promise you it is really worth it. Theses pies are aboslutely delicious and I remember my brother and I being so excited each time my mummy bought some for a picnic on the beach. We used to call them “Sea pies”… The other essential ingredients are saffron, tomato, muscat de Frontignan (local sweet white wine) and an olive oil bread dough (half way between a bread dough and a tart crust).
For one large pie of 24cm (6 persons). Time: 3 hours The day before: Put the octopus (1kg) in the freezer. This will avoid them being chewy.
Oilive oil bread dough
Can be made using a bread machine.
- 400 g flour
- 70 ml lukewarm water
- 70 ml muscat de Frontignan (local sweet wine)
- 100 ml olive oil
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
- 4 g dry breead yeast (1 teaspoon) or 10 g fresh yeast (better taste)
- 8 g salt (2 teaspoons)
- 1 pinch of caster sugar
- Blend 50 g of flour with the lukewarm water and the yeast. Leave on the side for half an hour, in a warm place (20-25°C).
- Pour the rest of the flour in a large bowl. Make a hole in the center and all the ingredients. Blend gently, starting from the center. Work the dough during 3 to 5 minutes. Depending on the flour quality, you might need to ad 10 to 20 grams cold water.
- Cover and leave to rise, covered with a humid towel. The dough should triple in size.
- 1kg octopus, empty and clean (from your friendly and helpful fishmongers 🙂 )
- 2 liters fish stock
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 pinch of saffron
- 1 teaspoon chilly (more or less according to taste)
- If you like it spicy & hot… A little bit of harissa paste
- 500g tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato concentrate
- 1 bouquet garni
- 1 glass of muscat de Frontignan
- Olive oil
- Put the octopus, still frozen, in the fish stock and cook for two hours. Take one glass of the stock and keep on the side. Drain, then take of the skins of the octopus (not nice… But the rest of the recipe is much more fun !). Using some scissors, cut the octopus into small bits.
- Dice the onion and fry in a saucepan. Add the tomato concentrate and sugar, fry for a few more minutes. Add all the other ingredients (excluding the octopus) and the glass of fish stock. Leave to reduce for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Take off the bouquet garni. Add the octpus. Leave to cool on the side.
- Preheat the oven (220°C).
- Take off the air in the dough by punching it. Cut into two pieces and roll each one thinly on some baking sheet.
- Put one piece of dough in a tart mould. Using a fork, make some small holes in the dough to keep it from rising while in the oven.
- Pour the octopus sauce.
- Cover with the othe piece of dough.
- Using both fingers and a bit of cold water seal both pieces of dough.
- Using a brush, add a bit of olive oil on the dough to allow the pie to golden while baking. Make some holes with a fork.
- Bake for half an hour.
- Serve hot or cold, with some salad and a glass of chilled muscat de Frontignan 🙂