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The perfect Mussel recipe

03 October 2014

Make sure you pick clean, closed unbroken mussel shells and use your nose to ensure that the mussels you are buying have a seaside briny fresh smell rather than a fishy one.  Mussels must always be eaten on day of purchase as they are highly perishable.

 Mussels with chorizo and cider (serves 2 as a supper)

  • 1kg live mussels
  • generous knob of butter
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cooking chorizo sausages, sliced
  • 150ml cider
  • a pinch of paprika
  • 2 tbsp of passata
  • Marjoram, thyme or winter savoury
First, prepare your mussels.  Scrub them in plenty of cold water, taking care to discard any open shells that do not close up when given a tap or any that float to the top in the water.  Remove the rope-like beard, the hairs which protrude from the shell, tugging away from the hinged shell.  Scrub off any barnacles.  

Into the mussel cooking pot, place the butter and shallots and fry on a relatively high heat until the shallots have softened, taking care that nothing catches on the bottom of the pan.  Add the chorizo and paprika, mixing through the shallots and cooking together until the chorizo begins to release its oil and is a little toasted on both sides.  

Throw in the mussels and pour over the cider.  Cover the mussel pot with its lid and occasionally shaking the pan, cook for 5-6 minutes.

Remove the mussels from the pan with a slotted spoon, checking and removing any that have remained closed after cooking.  Turn the heat up on the pot and bring the reserved cooking liquor to the boil, reducing it down a little.  Add the chopped herbs and passata.  Season with salt and pepper.

Now tip all the mussels back into the pan and give the mussel pot a couple of gentle shakes to coat the mussels in sauce.
Take the mussel pot to your table with some crusty bread to mop up all the lovely liquor from the mussels.

Indulge in a seafood one pot supper for two – don’t forget that chilled glass of white wine to go with it!