Mussels steamed in white wine

Mussels steamed in white wine


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Mussels are great value and there's nothing better than sitting down to a huge bowlful, and mopping up the sauce with chunks of crusty bread.

Zoë Harpham

Serves: 4 

  • 25 g butter
  • 2 French shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 stalks of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 1 kg mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
  • ¼ cup crème fraîche or thickened cream
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • crusty bread

Preparation:10min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:30min 

  1. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan, add the shallots or onion and cook gently for 5 minutes until tender, but not coloured. Add the garlic, bay leaf and parsley stalks and cook for a further minute.
  2. Pour in the wine and bring to a rapid boil. Add the mussels, all at once, and immediately cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook over a moderate heat, shaking the pan occasionally for 3–5 minutes until the mussels have opened. Discard the bay leaf, parsley stalks and any mussels that have not opened.
  3. Strain the cooking juices through a fine-meshed sieve into a small saucepan. Add the crème fraîche or cream and 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley and boil for 1–2 minutes to reduce slightly. Season with black pepper.
  4. Transfer the mussels to a warmed serving dish or individual bowls. Pour over the hot sauce, sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve straight away with slices of bread.

cook's tip

Choose wine that you enjoy drinking; it is a false economy to buy cheap ‘cooking’ wine as this spoils the flavour of the dish. Alternatively, dry cider works well in this dish.

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