West Country Mussels

Recipe by Holly Jones
"The produce in South Devon is so great I have to remind myself of just how lucky we are. Over the hill, just off Brixham, we have a wonderful mussel farm at Elbury Cove who produce deliciously sweet mussels. Up the river at Stoke Gabriel, Paul and Rebecca at Real Drink brew traditional ciders and I especially love their vintage bottle fermented version. And of course our damp, warm, sunny climate is perfect for grass and that means plenty of top quality cream from our dairy farms."
Holly Jones, Manna From Devon Cooking School.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 4

  • 25g butter
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 bunch of parsley, stalked finely chopped and leaves finely chopped separately
  • 1 glass medium cider
  • 2kg mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 250ml double cream

METHOD

  1. Melt the butter in a wide pan, Add the shallots, garlic and parsley stalks. Fry very gently until the shallots are softened then add a large glass of medium cider.
  2. Bring the mixture to the boil then add the cleaned mussels. Cover the pan and cook on a high heat, steaming the mussels. Give them a good shake after a couple of minutes then continue to cook until the mussels have opened.
  3. Take out the mussels and transfer them to a warmed dish or tureen. Still on a high heat reduce the liquor in the pan by about half.
  4. Add the cream and continue to cook, stirring well until the cream is absorbed into the sauce.
  5. Pour the sauce over the mussels, add chopped parsley leaves and serve quickly with a hunk of good bread (my husband, David makes all ours) for soaking up the sauce and a glass of West Country Cider.