Matt’s Marvellous Mussels
Recipe by Matt Vernon from Cornish Mussel Shack
Mussels are surprisingly cheap to buy, simple to cook, low fat, nutritious, very tasty, and look impressive on the plate.
First it’s important to mention a few tips about Mussels:
- Lots of chefs are raving about using local ingredients and this really is true with mussels. They can keep for 2-3 days out of the water, but the fresher the better.
- Try to buy from a local fishmonger then you can enquire as to how fresh they are. The longer the mussels have been out of the water the more likely you will get dead ones which can’t be used.
- Store them in the fridge in a dry bowl as they can leak a little water. Don’t freeze live mussels, but you can freeze cooked ones.
Preparing the mussels:
- The only prep you will need to do before cooking them is to clean them under running water – do not soak – and remove the beard, (The hairy bit). Remove the beard shortly before cooking, because if done too far in advance the mussel may weaken and die from the shock.
- Whilst cleaning, any open mussels that don’t close after being handled should be thrown away.
Find out more about your local Cornish Mussel shack:
There is a lot more useful information on the website: www.thecornishmusselshack.co.uk
Find Matt on Twitter and Facebook where you can contact him for free mussel advice and free delivery, Covering Falmouth and the surrounding area. “My hand dived mussels are the largest and cheapest in the area”.
There you are, Matt has given a taste of the sea all on a plate:
RECIPE: Mussels in Cornish Cider & Cream Sauce
(Serves 2/3 people)
- 1 Onion
- Large nob of butter
- Glug of oil
- 1 Bottle of ‘proper’ cider
- 100 ml double cream
- 1kg Mussels
The Cream Sauce:
- Slice the onion and place into a pre-heated pan with the butter, oil and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes, keeping the lid on to retain moisture. The onions are ready when they have of gone transparent and gooey.
- Add 1 bottle of cider of Cornish cider to the onions and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes, stirring to get any residue of the bottom of the pan.
- Now stir in the double cream. Bring to a simmer and allow to reduce and thicken to desired consistency.
- This sauce can be made in advance which will allow the flavour to develop even more.
- When sauce is ready steam the prepared mussels
- If any mussels have gaped open again give them a light tap. If the mussel closes up its still safe to use.
- You can cook the mussels in the simmering sauce or use a few centimetres of boiling water, or cider, in a large pan with a lid.
- Steam for 3-4 minutes/ until all the mussels have opened. If after 4 mins most have opened but some haven’t, carefully prize them open. If the meat has come away from the inside of the shell it’s cooked and can be eaten.
- Stir into sauce and serve with crusty bread or chunky chips.