The Best Way To Cook Them
I simply love mussels and prepared using Belgian Ale is one of my favourite methods. I also love the idea of serving them with a side of fries and homemade mayo — crusty bread is nice with mussels but with pomme frites they’re awesome!
My boyfriend and I love picking mussels and every time we go to Paternoster, we go mussel picking — it’s loads of fun and super rewarding. However you must remember to buy your fishing license, it’s inexpensive (R87 for 12 months, and or R50 for a 4 week liscence) and obviously we want to protect the Sea and all sea-life here’s a link to find out more: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/service/fishing-rights-and-permits
Me picking mussels (a while ago, when I had red hair and clearly the weather was against it!) — look how much fun I am having in that icy-cold Atlantic Sea picking mussels 😉
Things to remember when cooking mussels:
1.Always buy fresh and use within a day of purchase.
2. Try and get your fishmonger to clean them for you — I love mussels, but I hate cleaning them (although always worth the wait)
3.Choose mussels with a tightly closed shell and discard any chipped or broken shells. Wrap in moist paper towels and refrigerate when you get them home.
4. Once cooked discard any unopened ones
5. Don’t over-cook the, they usually don’t need more than 5 minutes.
Take a look at my video to see how to prepare them:
1 kg fresh mussels, cleaned (beards removed and scrubbed)
2T olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 leek (white part), cleaned, and sliced
330ml Belgian Ale (or any IPA)
pepper, to taste
parsley, chopped, to garnish
- In a large stock pot or shellfish pot, heat oil, add onion, celery, garlic, and leek and sweat for 5-7 minutes (without colouring). Add ale, and pepper, increase heat and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Add mussels, .Cover, and remain on a medium-high heat, and allow mussels to steam until they open, about 5 minutes (discard any unopened ones).
- Remove mussels (or strain remembering to KEEP cooking liquid). Add butter to pot, and cooking for about 2-3 minutes. Either return mussels to the pot and cover to heat through, or pour sauce over mussels in serving bowls. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve immediately, with fries and homemade mayo.