Norfolk mussels are now in season (the rule of thumb is any month with an R is when they’re at their best) and we definitely indulged in a few huge pots of these blue-black shelled beauties on our recent mini staycation. Not only are mussels really tasty, they are also a great source of lean protein and full of nutrients due to being rich in minerals and vitamins.
Here is a great simple recipe that really makes Norfolk Blue mussels really sing as the star of the show.
1 ½ kg fresh mussels
1 clove of garlic
4 rashers of smoked bacon
1 glass of good quality cider
Bunch of fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, chives and thyme all work great)
2 tbsp of creme fraiche
- It is extremely important to make sure that the raw mussels are alive before you cook them. Rinse and clean the shells and discard any that are open.
- Cube the bacon and add to a large hot pan with a drizzle of nice olive oil and fry off for a few minutes until it is starting to crisp up.
- Scoop the bacon bits out and pop on a plate for later.
- Add some finely chopped shallots and garlic to the bacon fat in the pan, give it a good stir and throw in the clean and checked mussels.
- Splash in the cider and cover the pot allowing the mussels to steam for about 4 minutes, giving the pan a good shake occasionally.
- The mussels are ready when the shells open. Scoop them out onto a serving plate.
- Add the creme fraiche and some of the bacon and fresh herbs to the mussel juice and bring to the boil to thicken slightly for a minute or two.
- Pour over the mussels and garnish with a scattering of herbs and bacon.
- Serve with thick slabs of toasted sourdough bread or golden chips (or both if you’re a dedicated carb lover like myself)