Step aside, moules marinière, here's a fantastic mussel dish that's got its heart in the West Country!
Far from simply swapping out wine for your favourite cider, this dish brings together mussels, leeks, mustard and smoked pancetta to create a truly inspired seafood main course.
Speaking of cider, if you want to plant bareroot apple trees, do get your orders in soon – the trees won't thank you for planting them too late!
Ingredients (serves 2 as a main)
- 1kg mussels
- 75g smoked pancetta
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 finely chopped leek
- Large knob of butter
- 100ml cider
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons double cream
- Chopped parsley leaves
- Clean the mussels, remove any beards and barnacles .
- Discard any mussels that stay open after you give them a sharp tap (if they've been in the fridge, give them a couple of minutes to close... they might be sleepy).
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and the butter in a large lidded pan.
- Throw in the leeks and pancetta, and fry until golden brown .
- Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute .
- Add the mussels and cider, turn up the heat and cover with the lid .
- Cook for 5 minutes, shaking occasionally, but do not open the pan .
- Add the cream, mustard and parsley, and remove from the heat .
Spoon the mussels into bowls, or serve from the pan and let everyone help themselves. And while they're wonderful with crusty bread, they're even better with chips!
As ever, if you give any recipe a go, please do write back and tell us all about it.