Mussels Three Ways by Mat Follas

Mussels are a really versatile ingredient which well with a wide range of flavours. Best of all, they are grown around the UK and are still one of the most affordable seafood ingredients. Here, Mat Follas shares one base recipe featuring variations based on three different alcohols – cider, white wine and beer.

Read our review of Fish by Mat Follas here.

Mussels with Cider and Samphire

These three ways with mussels are simple and easy to make, and work well as a starter or main.

Mussels with Cider and Samphire

Mussels Three Ways

To be honest, mussels work well with most alcoholic drinks, here’s three variations to try. Cider adds a lovely apple sweetness that works well with the mussels and samphire adds a wonderful light salty flavour; wine is the classic accompaniment and is best served simply with crusty bread; while ale is hearty and the extra garlic adds depth and body to the dish – one for colder months.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Mat Follas

Ingredients

WITH CIDER & SAMPHIRE

  • 1 brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 kg (35 oz) mussels
  • 300 ml (1¼ cups) cider
  • 150 g (5½ oz) samphire
  • 50 ml (3½ tablespoons) double/heavy cream

WITH WINE (MEUNIÈRE)

  • 2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 kg (35 oz) mussels
  • 200 ml (¾ cup) white wine mixed with
  • 100 ml (⅓ cup) water
  • 50 ml (3½ tablespoons) double/heavy cream

WITH ALE & GARLIC

  • 1 brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 kg (35 oz) mussels
  • 300 ml (1¼ cups) ale
  • 50 ml (3½ tablespoons) double/heavy cream

Recipe Notes

Like most seafood, mussels should have no aroma; if they smell overly fishy or of ammonia, don’t eat them. Discard any mussels that will not close when tapped gently, before cooking, as well as those which do not open after cooking.

Instructions

  • For each recipe, in a large pan set over a gentle heat, sweat off the onion in the vegetable oil until translucent. Then add the garlic (the garlic will burn if you add it at the same time as the onion) and continue to cook gently for another couple of minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the mussels by gently rinsing under cold water and removing any ‘beards’. Use a table knife (or any blunt knife) to scrape any loose barnacles off the shells and grab the beard with it to pull it off.
  • For mussels with cider and samphire, remove any hard stalks from the samphire, then finely chop.
  • Put all of the mussels into a saucepan set over a high heat, add the alcohol and cover. Bring to the boil for 2–3 minutes until the mussels have opened – don’t overboil or you’ll have rubbery mussels.
  • Take off the heat, add the double/heavy cream (and samphire if using), stir and spoon the mussels into big bowls (there’s going to be a little grit at the bottom of the pan, so don’t serve the last spoonful of the sauce).

  • Serve with generous hunks of bread to mop-up the delicious juices.

 

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Kavey Eats received a review copy of Fish: Delicious Recipes for Fish and Shellfish by Mat Follas from publisher Ryland, Peters & Small. Photography by Steve Painter.

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