Ed’s Special: Dark beer and cream wild mussels


I’ve been cooking moules for a while now. In England it’s easy to get good ones, and it’s one of the few seafood items that aren’t overpriced. Best place to get em is Waitrose in my experience. They sell the Scottish ones with the blue tinge on the shell: they’re the boys.

Last April I was in Brittany with my friend Leo on a surf trip in the Budgie van. We drove up to La Palue on the Crozon, a national park area of killer beauty. Anyhoo, I went off foraging one afternoon, with my fishing rod. I’m a rubbish fisherman, but clambering over some mussel covered rocks I found a big tidal rock pool.  I put my hand into the deep and bingo, big wild mussels with the blue tinge. On that occassion Leo and I cooked em in tomato sauce with garlic and chili, but when Sophie and I returned to the mussel pool in August, all we had in the van was some Leffe Brune, some cream, courgette and onion. Usually I cook em with white wine and butter whisked in at the end.

So for the recipe:

  • Kilo or so of Mussels
  • 330/500ml bottle of Leffe Brune or other dark ale
  • 20cl of creme fraiche
  • 1 courgette cubed
  • 1 onion chopped up
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil

So….. sweat onion/garlic in the olive oil. Add the courgette, salt and pepper.

Meanwhile go through the mussels. Remove beards and detritus. Any shells that are broken, open, or fail to close after a tap on the shell discard. Remember you don’t want any dead ones. Best do this under a running tap or a big bowl of water.

When the veg has sweated (5/10 mins) add a bottle of Leffe. Bring this to the violent boil. Chuck in the mussels, put on the lid, shake once a minute (hold the pot and lid and shake). Cook for 3 minutes. Pour mussels and sauce into a collander over a second pot. Put the second pot beer sauce straight back on the boil, and put the mussels and onion/garlic bits back in the first pot and put lid on.

Bring beer sauce to a furious boil, and whisk in the creme fraiche. Whisk to a froth, and then pour back onto the mussels in the other pot.

Serve with some craggy rustic bread and some of Sophie’s homemade mayo if you really want to clog those arteries.

Remember, don’t eat any mussels that haven’t opened.

The beauty of this is the sauce. It glows green with the courgette, and doesn’t need any additional herbs. It’s not sickly as it’s only a small bit of creme, and well……Dark beer is always a good ingredient.

Oh and by the way, the wild moules are the mutts nuts, best I’ve had, and if you’re ever going  down that way, mail me and I’ll tell you where the moule stash is.

Ed

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2 responses to “Ed’s Special: Dark beer and cream wild mussels

  1. \It’s YOU! How fabulous. You look and sound very happy and should be very fat but you are obviously still very thin!
    lots of love
    VIvien

    • Yes, it’s me, very happy indeed and cooking. Currently in the south of France and going to California and then Canada at the end of the week. But will still cook with what I can there and keep posting.
      I hope you are well too!
      Sophie

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