You can find mussels all year round, but they’re best eaten in the autumn months when they’re freshest. This is the perfect dish to make on a portable grill on the beach, seasoned with the ozone smell of the sea.
1kg mussels, scrubbed and bearded
6 rashers bacon or pancetta, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
Small bunch of thyme
1 big spoonful clotted cream
Samphire to garnish
Bring your BBQ up to searing temperature and use your grates on the lowest rung so it’ll support a large pot.
Place a large cast iron dutch oven onto the grates so it gets fiercely hot. At this point, throw the butter in, followed by the bacon. Cook until browned, then add the shallot and sprigs of thyme. Cook out for a minute or two, then add the mussels and cider. Cover with a lid and cook for approximately 5 minutes, shaking them up from time to time.
When the mussels have just steamed open, showing off their plump meat, you’re good to go. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened. Spoon the mussels into bowls, then stir through the clotted cream and samphire and season well. Pour the creamy sauce over the mussels.
Serve with crusty bread or fries.
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