Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Recipe: Mussels cooked in Guinness


This distinctly British take on classic Gallic fare is heartier in many ways, made using Guinness and with the addition of streaky bacon.

It comes from a cookbook with a difference: acclaimed food photographer David Loftus’s collection of recipes from his travels. He’s not a chef himself, but each page offers a new recipe from a chef or food writer who David has worked with in the past – from Nigella Lawson to Heston Blumenthal, with an intro from his good friend, Jamie Oliver. Try these mussels for a quick, delicious midweek dinner.


454 per serving




10 minutes


20 minutes


  • A knob of butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
  • A small bunch of fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • A small bunch of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1kg mussels, cleaned
  • 250ml Guinness
  • 50ml cream


STEP 1: Melt the butter in a large lidded pan. Add the shallot, garlic and bacon and cook over a medium heat until the shallot is translucent and the bacon golden brown. Add half the thyme and parsley to the pan, along with the bay leaf and a pinch of salt and pepper.

STEP 2: Add the mussels to the pan, throwing away any that are open and that will not close when you tap them sharply, then pour in the Guinness. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and place a lid on the pan. Leave for 3-5 minutes, or until the mussels have steamed open.

STEP 3: Remove the pan from the heat and discard any unopened mussels. Stir in the cream, and add the rest of the parsley and thyme. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

STEP 4: Serve immediately, with fresh brown soda bread, salty butter and a rocket salad.

From Around The World In 80 Dishes by David Loftus (£25, Atlantic Books)


Wine expert Jane Parkinson suggests the perfect pairing

Catena Chardonnay, Mendoza, Argentina, 2010 £11.86, Waitrose (waitrose.com)

A ripe, crisp white is the best wine bet for a dish with this depth of flavour. Buttery, smokey and oaky, this delicious Argentinean chardonnay is from one of the country’s most revered producers. Its tropical fruit flavours will make a great pairing with the rich sauce, while the crisp acidity will keep things nice and fresh for the shellfish.



Jerome Tauvron's Alaskan black cod with Miso


Three cheers for chocolate beer


Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes



Our kind of cauldron: darkly delicious Halloween cocktail recipes

Jacked-up Negronis and chilli-laced concoctions

by Amy Swales
25 Oct 2016

Amazing tasting menus from top UK restaurants for under £50

Total steals from Michelin-starred spots

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2016

The formula for the perfect cheese toastie has been revealed

Prepare to salivate

by Harriet Hall
20 Oct 2016

How to make red wine hot chocolate, aka the ultimate winter drink

Weekend plans, sorted

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Oct 2016

Scarlett Johansson is opening a popcorn shop in Paris

As you do

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2016

High-end Halloween: sophisticated ways to celebrate this season

From dining at The Savoy to decadent cabaret and gourmet hampers

by Amy Swales
19 Oct 2016

Brexit might affect the price of your wine

The industry is warning of an increase

by Amy Swales
19 Oct 2016

No more bar queues: meet the wine glass that automatically refills

*Approach with caution*

by Harriet Hall
19 Oct 2016

Londoners: you can now get a three-course, Michelin-starred takeaway

Eating on the sofa in your pants just got a whole lot more sophisticated

by Amy Swales
12 Oct 2016

Crisp lovers rejoice: London is getting its own crisps and dips cafe

All hail the crisp conveyor belt of our dreams.

by Amy Lewis
11 Oct 2016