My family loves mussels so we are always looking for new flavor combinations to try. With St. Patrick’s day right around the corner and with Ireland being an island nation, I went in search of a traditional Irish dish featuring mussels. These Mussels in Irish Ale filled the bill of what I was looking for and I had all the ingredients in my pantry!
Generally, farm raised mussels come in from the store looking pretty clean. Most are already de-bearded if not already scrubbed and ready to eat. Nevertheless, we fill the sink with cold water and dump them in for a quick soak and inspection. They cook up in under 10 minutes so these make a perfect quick dinner or entertaining menu. If you are not partial to beer, hard cider or the like you can always substitute seafood stock, chicken stock, apple juice or water for the alcohol.
Mussels in Irish Ale
- 3 pounds mussels, washed and the beards removed
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 5 pieces of pancetta, sliced into pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 bottle Irish Ale
- 4 tablespoons of cream
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped, parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Discard any mussels that are open before cooking and any that stay closed after cooking.
- Place a large pot over a high heat and brown the pancetta pieces until just golden and sizzling. Add in a knob of butter, allow it to melt and then add the onion and garlic. Cook gently for three minutes until the onion is soft.
- Add in the cider and allow to bubble away for a few minutes so all the flavours mingle in together. Tumble in the mussels, cover with a lid and allow them to steam for about four minutes until they open, making sure to give the pot a good shake once or twice during the cooking time.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cream and parsley and season with sea salt and ground black pepper.
- Serve with some crusty bread to mop up the liquid!
Recipe from Donal Skehan Mussels in Irish Cider