Beer Steamed Mussels


After I posted our Feast of The Seven Fishes menu and photos from Christmas Eve on FaceBook, I had many requests for some of the recipes I used, including this one for mussels or cozze. Steamed mussels are another seafood dish my family loves, and we enjoy it both at home, and when we are traveling in Italy anywhere along the coast. Although I usually use a tomato based sauce when I steam my mussels at home, I also love a simple broth made with wine, or in this case beer, along with a few seasonings. As long as your mussels are fresh, this is a very easy, yet delicious dish that can be pulled together in mere minutes. One of my favorite dinners includes having a big bowl of mussels prepared in this manner served along with a crisp mixed salad and some good crusty bread to sop up the wonderful juices. Feel free to use white wine in place of the beer for a completely different flavor

Mussels tend to be much less expensive than clams in our area so we enjoy them often. Most mussels sold today are farmed raised and come fully cleaned, and only need to be washed and bearded. To beard, use fingers to pull out the clump of hair- like strands. Wild mussels will need to be scrubbed with a stiff brush to remove any barnacles, sand or grit and their beard must also be removed. This can be done by giving the beard a forceful tug with your fingers and pulling it away or by cutting it off with a small and sharp knife. Remove the beard just before cooking, because you may tear the mussel away from the wall killing it when you remove the beard. Rinse the wild mussels several times but do not let them sit in water, as freshwater will kill them.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Beer Steamed Mussels

A simple yet delicious way to serve fresh mussels.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pounds Fresh Mussels
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive OIl
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Minced
  • 1 Medium Onion, Peeled, & Diced
  • 3/4 Cup Good Quality Beer
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Parsley
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

  1. Rinse the mussels under cold water, and remove the beards if necessary.
  2. In a large heavy pot with a lid, heat the olive oil, then add the onion, garlic, and salt and pepper and cook over medium low heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the beer and continue to cook, increasing heat to medium high.
  4. Add the mussels and cover the pot, and steam the mussels until they open, shaking the pot from time to time for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the mussels from the broth to a heated bowl, and add the thyme, butter, and mustard.
  6. Stir well, and cook over high heat, seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Stir in the fresh parsley and pour the juices over the mussels in the bowl and serve immediately.