There now, all the mussel-haters have gone and left just us, right? Great, more bivalves for us!
This recipe a great way to steam clams or mussels that has a bit more oomphthan the standard white wine-butter sauce meme. And like all truly great winter meals, it starts with bacon, onions and garlic.
2. When bacon has rendered some fat and begins to brown slightly, add in onions, garlic and thyme. Stir, reduce heat to medium, and cook until onion is translucent. Stir occasionally to prevent onion from sticking or scorching.
3. When onion is soft through and has begun to melt…
…add in porter. Turn heat to high and bring sauce mixture to a simmer.
4. When sauce has reduced by about half and has a glossy, almost syrupy look, you are ready to add in your cleaned mussels.
(Not to harp on this, but you didthrow out any dead mussels already, right?)
5. Add in the mussels all at once, turn the heat to high and clamp a lid on your pot.
6. In about 4 minutes, take a peek. If your mussels have sprung open and revealed themselves immodestly to you, they are good to go. If most mussels are still closed, put the lid back on and give them another minute or two. As long as they’re open, it’s better to undercook than overcook.
7. Working quickly so your mussels don’t cool off, use a big strainer to remove the mussels to a serving bowl while you finish the sauce.
8. Turn heat to low and add the softened butter to the porter sauce.
10. Pour porter sauce over mussels. There’s almost always a bit of sand or grit in the bottom of the pot when you cook clams or mussels. Obviously you don’t want that in your finished dish, so pour carefully (don’t dump) and leave the last sandy dregs of sauce in the pot.
Viola – winter mussels with bacon and porter sauce. If you have a bit of parsley to sprinkle over everything your dish will look ever-so-pretty. I couldn’t be bothered, I was hungry. Something bread-like to sop up the fabulous sauce is almost essential here.