Most of the mussels available these days are rope or net-grown. This makes them easy to find, sustainable, affordable and simple to prepare.
No-one should be afraid to prepare or eat mussels, humans have been eating them for thousands of years.
During the Second World War in the United States, mussels were commonly served for dinner. This was due to the unavailability of red meat related to wartime rationing.
1kg of mussels will comfortably feed two people as a main course – pair it up with some French fries and you have a French Classic picked from our very own shores.
Preparing the mussels is easy – a quick scrub, remove any beards or barnacles and they are ready to go. Baking them with some white wine and chorizo is one of my all-time favourites. In this recipe I have used Thistly Cross Cider as I find the sweetness of the cider works amazingly well with the sweet meat of the mussels.
1 bottle of your favourite cider
100g fresh peas
1 peeled sliced shallot
20g unsalted butter
40mls double cream
SWEAT off the shallots in the butter for three minutes. Add the cider and reduce by half.
Scrub all the mussels making sure you remove the beards, which are the little string-like pieces.
Discard any mussels that are open or cracked.
Put a heavy-based pan on the stove and when it is hot pour in the mussels.
Add the cider and shallot reduction and then add the cream.
Cover the pan with a lid and steam for about four minutes or until all the mussels have opened.
Discard any that don’t open.
Add the peas.
Serve immediately with some crusty bread and a great glass of your favourite tipple.