Drunken mussels cooked in ale and served with sautéed carrots, celery root, shallots, butter, creme fraîche, and fresh herbs.
What is it about fresh mussels that makes me want to pack my bags, move to France, live on a sail boat, sip champagne, and don a 1960’s bathing suit?
Seriously, I’m not even exaggerating. My food associations make no sense.
There is just something about mussels that gets me every single time. They are rustic yet elegant and refined. I can’t get enough of them.
Not to mention, every time I make them I’m reminded of the fact that I do not cook them nearly enough.
If you’ve never made mussels at home, don’t be intimidated by the process. It is really quite easy (reference my moules frites recipe for more tips on how to buy, clean, and prepare fresh mussels)
The absolute worst part of preparing mussels at home is washing and de-bearding them. Luckily most fishmongers take care of this step for you nowadays and the prep time is minimal.
Mussels are probably one of the fastest dishes that you can put on the table. They only take roughly 5 minutes to cook. Serve with a good-quality bread (grilled is great here!) or sourdough.
Aptly named ‘drunken mussels’, these mussels are steamed in dark ale and cooked together with sautéed diced carrots, celery root, shallots, butter, and a hefty spoonful of creme fraîche for richness.
The bitterness and hoppiness of the dark ale pairs so well with the briny mussels. Fresh parsley and tarragon add just enough color and vibrancy to make the dish shine!
Feel free to serve these in the shell with the broth or remove the mussels from the shell for easy serving.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup finely diced carrots
- 1 cup finely diced celery root
- 3 medium shallots diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 ounces dark ale
- 2 lbs fresh mussels scrubbed and de-bearded
- 3 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped tarragon leaves
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- crusty grilled sourdough bread for serving
- Heat the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the carrot, celery root, shallots, and bay leave and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes or until softened. Add the ale and bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, set a large colander over a separate large pot and set aside for later.
- Heat a 10 to 12-inch large flat-sided saute pan over high heat. Add the mussels and vegetable-ale mixture. Cover the pan, shaking it back and forth occasionally, and adjusting the heat as necessary. Cook the mussels until the shells have opened, roughly 3 to 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open.
- Strain mixture into the colander, reserving the cooking liquid. Place the mussels in a large serving bowl or remove the mussels from the shell (this step will take 5 to 10 minutes).
- Reduce the cooking liquid over medium-high heat until reduced to one third of the volume. Whisk in the creme fraiche and fresh herbs, and season to taste (either no salt or very little salt will be needed). Keep warm. Pour the cooking liquid over the mussels, and serve with grilled crusty bread.
Tips for Success:
- Use roughly 1 lb of mussels per serving.