Mussels cultured in the cool waters surrounding P.E.I. are sweet, tender, and plump. One of my favourite ways to eat mussels is to steam them in beer with lots of bacon. Adding a touch of cream and mustard makes an amazing, creamy, rich, smoky broth.
- 4 slices smoked bacon, cut into 1/2 -inch (1 cm) pieces
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) unsalted butter
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bottle (12 oz/341 mL) wheat beer
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) whole grain mustard
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) heavy cream
- Salt and pepper
- 4 lb (2 kg) mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped parsley
In a large pot over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the butter to the bacon fat. When it has melted, add the celery, leeks, garlic, and thyme.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft.
Turn the heat up and deglaze the pan with the beer. When the liquid is reduced by half, stir in the mustard, cream, and salt and pepper; bring to a boil.
Add the mussels, stir once, and cover. Cook until the mussels just begin to open, about 5 minutes.
Remove the lid, stir the mussels (discard any that haven’t opened), and garnish with the bacon and parsley.
Photography Courtesy Kathleen Finlay of Cookbook: At Home with Lynn Crawford: 200 of My Favourite Easy Recipes