I love cooking mussels – partly because they are so quick and delicious, but actually also because the preparation (cleaning and debearding them) takes a little work.
- 1 tbsp butter
- A splash of olive oil
- 1 large banana shallot, finely chopped
- A medium sized apple, something not too sweet, cored and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
- 250ml dry cider
- ½ a lemon, juice
- 900g mussels, washed and debearded
- A little tarragon, finely chopped
- Set a deep frying pan with a lid over a low-to-medium heat – a casserole pan would be good, or a small stock pot. Add the butter and a splash of oil. When the butter has melted, add the shallot along with a good pinch of salt. Let the shallot sweat for a couple of minutes, then add the apple and garlic. Pop the lid on and cook for about five minutes, or until the apple is nice and soft. Then remove from the pan (don’t worry about getting out every last scrap) and set aside in a bowl.
- Put the pan back on the heat and fry the bacon. You shouldn’t need any more fat as there’ll still be some left in the pan from the shallots and apples. When the bacon is nice and browned, put the shallots and apples back in the pan, turn the heat up a little and pour in the cider. Bring to a simmer and add the lemon, another good pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper.
- Turn the heat down a little, then add the mussels. Put the lid on and leave for two minutes, then give the pan a gentle shake (so the sauce starts falling into the crevices of the opening mussels). Cook for another three minutes, or until the shells are open.
- Scatter tarragon over everything and serve immediately.