West Country Cider Mussels For Paihia

This is a take on the classic moules marinière, using leeks, thyme and cider. It works equally well with cockles or palourdes instead of mussels.

Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a feast

50g unsalted butter
1 or 2 leeks, white part only, finely shredded, or 1 onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1½ teaspoons cider vinegar (optional)
½ glass of real cider (medium is best; or use dry plus a splash of apple juice)
1kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded 2 tablespoons double cream (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the butter in a deep, wide pan over a medium heat and add the leek or onion, plus the garlic.

Cover and sweat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft but not coloured.

Raise the heat and throw in the thyme.

When its scent hits you, add the cider vinegar, if using, and cider, then the mussels and some salt and pepper.

Give them a quick stir and a shake, then cook, covered, for 3–4 minutes, shaking the pan a couple of times.

When all the mussels are open (discard any that remain closed), finish with the cream, if you like, and serve with some good bread and more cider (in a glass, this time).

2 Responses to “West Country Cider Mussels For Paihia”

  1. on 20 Nov 2009 at 11:00 pm Matron

    Oooh but you’ve just given me the urge for some moules mariniere… but it’s 2300hrs. I know what I’ll be dreaming of now!

  2. on 22 Jan 2010 at 12:16 am Nomble Womble


    Am now craving mussels!

    Laughing a lot at the ‘debearded’ word… that always cracks me up, I imagine lots of little mussels with beards all queuing up!

    Anyway I should probably go to bed now, but this has made me hungry!

Trackback this Post | Feed on comments to this Post

Leave a Reply