Mussels are much easier dish to serve than many realise. Try this mussels in cider recipe, its easy to prepare and makes for a very tasty lunch or supper.

How To Clean Mussels

Lots of people are not sure how to prepare different types of shellfish. Here is our guide for cleaning mussels. It is quite an easy process, all that is required is to wash, scrub and debeard the mussels. (The “Beards” are small brown threads that can be found sticking out from the joint between the two shell halves. The are the remains of the animals tethering system that attaches it to a rock or other underwater surface. Pull the beard hard towards the hinge or more pointed end of the mussel. Remove it completely and throw away.)

While you are cleaning look for any open shells, if you find one tap it on your work top – any that do not close when tapped should be discarded. If you are not ready to cook right away put the cleaned mussels in a fresh bowl of cold water until ready to use. You might want to change this water to remove any salt or sand that comes out of the mussels.

Ingredients below are for four people as a starter for two as a main meal, allow about 15 minutes for preparation and cooking.

Ingredients For Mussels In Cider

1kg fresh, live mussels from Walter Purkis & Sons
50g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
4 shallots chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, core removed and cut into cubes
300ml Cider (or apple juice)
100ml fresh cream
Zest and juice 1 lemon
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Fresh dill or parsley, to garnish

Cooking method For Mussels In Cider

Heat the butter and oil in a large wide saucepan that will be big enough to hold all the ingredients. Add the shallots and garlic and cook gently for 2 minutes. Add the apple and cook for a further minute. Add the cider/apple juice, lemon zest and juice, and thyme, and bring to the boil. (An interesting variation here is to add in some bacon fry 5 chopped rashers for 5 mins or until it starts becoming crisp then add to the pan.)

Add the cleaned mussels, shake the saucepan a few times and cover with a lid. Cook for about 2 minutes, then shake the mussels again. Cook for another 4 minutes or so, until all mussels have opened.

Discard any unopened mussels. Add the cream stir then divide the mussels between bowls. Pour over the cooking juice from the pan. Serve right away with some crusty bread to mop up the tasty juices.

This mussels in cider recipe come from the Fish is the Dish website where you can find this and lots of other fishy recipes.