Mussels are one of my favourite easy meals. If you have a little bit of planning, they are a delicious and decedent quick meal that feels like a treat. Best enjoyed with friends and some bread, this version using Big Rock Golden Ale is a delicious meal that anyone can make. The beer adds a delicious flavour and creaminess to the broth, which is perfect for soaking up with some bread.
2 lbs mussels in shells, cleaned
1 tbs butter
3 shallots, diced
1 tbs garlic, minced
1 tbs thyme
½ bottle Big Rock Golden Ale (find it here)
Salt and pepper to taste
Once you get the mussels from your local grocery store or fish monger, you will need to rinse them. Do this a day ahead (or a couple hours ahead at minimum) to get out any residual sand or grit left in them. To rinse the mussels, place them in a bowl of cold salty water in the fridge. Change the water every few hours. Once water is clear, you know your mussels are cleaned.
Once you are ready to prep the mussels for the meal, remove any hairy clumps you find – these are known as beards – with teasers, plyers, a small knife or your fingers. Scrub the mussel shells with a vegetable brush and place back in a bowl of water.
In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, thyme and shallots and sauté until golden brown. Add the beer and bring to a simmer, scrapping any brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the mussels and cook for 5-10 minutes or until most of the mussels open. Remove pot from heat and discard any unopened mussels as they might be dead and inedible.
Serve immediately with bread, if you wish, for dipping.