Typical dish from Sète: the «Tielle sétoise»

Tielles Cooking LSFThis dish is a spicy octopus pie that originates from Sète (30 kilometres from Montpellier). It is a sort of octopus ragout in dough, with a delicious golden crust. Tielles have a strong taste of fish that could be compared to sardines in tomato sauce. They are easily portable so you can take them for your picnics.

Here, you can find them in supermarkets, small shops and bakeries. But if you prefer to make your own or if you want to show your friends and families how good they are when you are back home, you will find below the recipe.

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1) Cook the octopus in a large pot of boiling salted water with some vinegar or some bouillon, until it is tender (45 minutes). Drain, rinse with cold water, peel the skin off and chop it into slightly smaller than bite-size pieces.

2) Make the dough. Use some plain flour, olive oil, cold water and a pinch of salt. The dough will be similar to shortcrust pastry. But some people prefer to make it similar to bread dough, for example with yeast.

3) Heat up the filling. Mix the squid with some olive oil, chopped onions, herbs (bay leaf, rosemary, fennel bulb), spices (black pepper, salt, fresh hot chilli), chopped garlic, tomato paste, hot water and dry white wine. Cook until the filling becomes thick.

4) Assemble the tielles. Roll the dough into 12-centimetre disks and put them in tart pans. Prick the dough with a fork, spread some octopus ragout over each pan, cover with the remaining disks and pinch down the edges. Make a small slit in each top with a knife. To make it prettier, spread a glaze of egg yolk, tomato paste and olive oil on the crust.

5) Bake the tielles, at about 200C until golden, for 30 minutes.