This braised octopus can be eaten cold, warm or hot, and it’s fine to make it a few days before it’s served. Lay it on a platter, and put it on the table with a bottle of white wine, plenty of crusty bread, olives and cheese, or eat it on its own with fetta and crunchy bread.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Blanch the octopus for 1 minute, then drain and set aside.
To remove the skins from the cherry tomatoes, bring another pot of water to the boil. Blanch the tomatoes for 1 minute. Drain, peel the skins and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic and chilli. Cook for about 5 minutes until the shallots are soft and caramelised, stirring often.
Add the wine, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, coriander seeds, water and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer over a low heat, then add the octopus and braise for 30 minutes. Stir the tomatoes and vinegar into the pot and cook for a further 15 minutes. Stir the sugar through and check seasoning.
Serve straight away or allow to cool to room temperature. If making ahead of time, place in a jar and keep in the fridge for up to a week.