Mussels steamed with cider & bacon

Mussels steamed with cider & bacon

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(15 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 20 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Mussels are much easier dish to serve up than people realise. Try this easy dish, read the tips, and impress your friends

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Easily halved
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
367
protein
39g
carbs
8g
fat
18.6g
saturates
6.5g
fibre
0g
sugar
2g
salt
4.45g

Ingredients

  • small knob butter
  • 6 rashers bacon, chopped, or a 140g piece, cut into small cubes
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • small bunch thyme, leaves stripped
  • 1½ kg small mussels, scrubbed and bearded
  • glass of cider, about 150 ml
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche (optional)

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Method

  1. PREPARATION: Raw mussels MUST be alive when you cook them, so careful preparation is key. Wash them under cold running water until it runs clear, and scrub if necessary. Pull the ‘beard’ away from each individual mussel – this is the byssus thread, a protein the mussel ‘spins’ so it can attach itself to rock or rope. Drain and then check; if the shell is tightly shut, this is a good indication that it’s alive. If the mussel is open, tap it sharply for a few seconds – if it is alive, it will close. Discard any that appear to be dead as they can decompose very rapidly, and eating one that you aren’t sure of is not worth the risk. Don’t check them too far in advance; cook within a few minutes to be on the safe side.
  2. Heat the butter in a pan large enough to easily fit the mussels, then fry the bacon for 4 mins, turning occasionally until it starts becoming crisp. Throw in the shallots and thyme leaves, then cook for 1 min until softened. Whack the heat up to maximum and add the mussels to the pan, then pour over the cider. Place the lid on the pan, give it a good shake, then cook the mussels for 5-7 mins, shaking the pan occasionally, until all the mussels have opened. Discard any that haven’t.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the mussels into bowls and place the pan back on the heat. Bring the juices to the boil and stir in the crème fraîche, if using. Pour the sauce over the mussels. Serve with hunks of crusty bread for mopping up the sauce.
  4. COOKING TIPS: Mussels are most often steamed open over a small amount of flavoured liquid, as in Moules marinière, although they can also be oven roasted and are particularly good cooked ‘en papillote’ (in a bag). Wine, stock, beer and cider are all great for cooking mussels, but take care not to add salt to the liquid as mussel juice can be very salty. Drop the mussels into the liquid, cover with a tight-fitting lid, then cook until they have opened and the meat has settled into one side of the shell; this usually takes 3-4 minutes. Avoid overcooking as the meat shrivels and becomes tough. Check them all again before serving and discard any that haven’t opened. If a mussel is unopened at this stage, this indicates that it was already dead. You will probably notice the colour of the meat varies between beige and orange. This is an indication of sex – beige for male and orange for female; there is no difference in flavour. Once cooked, mussels are usually lifted into a bowl and the cooking liquor is reduced by simmering. Pull the meat from one shell and then use that shell as a pincer to remove meat from the rest. Serve simply with crusty bread – lovely!

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2007

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Comments

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erinvermaak's picture
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We keep making this again and again - so delish! Usually we do it for a saturday lunch and devour the whole lot between the 2 of us with some lovely crusty bread, but last night did it as a starter for 4 and went down really well.

lauren499's picture
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Such a refreshing change to moules marinere, beautiful dish. Also love the crunchy baked mussels and would def recommend that dish too!

patyna's picture

Absolutely delicious!!!

jamiejacks415's picture
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Made this recipe today as a nice treat on my student budget. Tasted absolutely amazing, I would definitely recommend this hardly took any time to cook and was great with some crusty bread. The only changes I made was halving the recipe as it was just for one, I also substituted the crème fraîche for double cream.

ghisli2000's picture
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Made this last night at my sisters in Northern France, it was delicious and a really nice alternative to moues marinere. I'm fairly intolerant to garlic (which is a shame as I love the flavour) so it was nice to eat mussels without having stomach ache for several hours after. Would certainly recommend to any mussel lovers!

lincolnmariner's picture
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Havent cooked it but all the info is really useful. will be cooking in a few days.

cheeky100's picture
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So yummy, so simple and so cheap! Mussels rock!

mariecath's picture
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A fantastic recipe. Very easy and very impressive and tastes great!

leahhyslop's picture

Delicious - really easy, really tasty!

ashandcharls's picture
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Very nice and tasty! Crusty bread is a must!!

nintendods's picture
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lush lush lush eaten this 1000 of times loved it!
also try scallops and bacon which is even better.

is anyone watching masterchef they did scallops and pea puree lush

janfoweraker's picture
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Very good - lots of flavour

tonykerr's picture
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Once again Barney has delivered a simple yet very tasty supper, very easy to prepare and quick to make, this could become a regular on our menu. Thankyou Barney!

lulujersey's picture
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Love Thai mussels and Moules mariniere but thought the flavours in this made it feel like it should have had meat in it rather than shellfish. I am however a Jersey girl so was raised on Moues teamed with garlic onion and white wine. Maybe it was just too far away from what I know mussels to be !!!

sjstenlake's picture
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Excellent, makes a lovey lunch or supper dish

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