For my first night back in the kitchen since arriving home from opening my new store in Los Angeles, I decided to challenge myself and make octopus birria tacos. Substitute chicken, pork, or beef here if you’re not a fan of octopus. Serves 6. 


2 yellow onions, quartered 
1 cup garlic, kept whole
Olive oil
1 Tbsp whole cumin
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp chipotle
1 Tbsp clove
1 Tbsp ginger
1 Tbsp coriander
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 lime, juiced
4 canned chipotle peppers
1 carton chicken stock
JF Spicy Salt, to taste
1 Octopus, defrosted 


Preheat your oven to 500º. On a baking sheet, fan out the quartered onions and garlic cloves. Drizzle these with olive oil and place in the oven. Cook until they are caramelized and browned.

On a separate baking sheet, pour out whole cumin, oregano, chipotle, cloves, ginger, coriander, and whole black peppercorns. Place these in the oven also at 500º and toast them for a few minutes.

Place the onions, garlic and all of the toasted spices in a blender. Add the juice of 1 lime, 4 canned chipotle peppers, and ¼ cup of chicken stock to the blender. Blend until smooth. Pour this mixture into a large pot, then add the remaining chicken stock. Add in water until the pot is very full. Season with JF Spicy Salt to taste.


Take the thawed and defrosted octopus and slowly dip the ends so the legs curl up. Submerge the octopus, making sure it is completely covered. Add more water if necessary, then cover. Bake at 350º for 2 hours.

Remove the octopus from the cooking liquid and let it cool in the fridge. Reduce the cooking liquid if you wish. Once the octopus is cooled, remove the beak in the center and discard. Chop the octopus into small pieces and crisp in hot pan with a drizzle of olive oil.

To assemble the tacos, dip a corn tortilla in the cooking liquid and place in a hot pan. Add cheese and the crisped octopus. Fold over in the pan so it looks like a quesadilla almost and these are ready.

Serve these with a small dipping cup of the cooking liquid alongside my JF Taco Night Rice, JF California Style Guacamole, and JF Pickled Onions.
Recipe adapted from Matt Broussard.