BTW: the great mystery of the best way to cook an octopus has been solved.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the winning preparation method involved confiting the octopus legs in duck fat. Just as everything is better with bacon–yes, even octopus–everything is also better once poached for four hours in 200-degree duck fat. The confit left the octopus meat evenly silky and tender, whereas none of the braised/roasted/simmered samples finished cooking without leaving the thick ends of the legs a wee bit dry.
I bet Harold McGee didn’t see that one coming.