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
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2):
- 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.