Hello everyone from Belgium, as my culinary marathon continues!
Today I am combining two staple ingredients in the Belgium cuisine: mussels and beer. Yes, today, you are having Belgium Mussels in Beer! I really like these ingredients separately a lot and if the Belgians say it goes perfectly together, I believe them. After all, beer is Belgium’s national drink, so they know best 🙂
This is such an affordable dish, mussels are so inexpensive compared to oysters or clams. Just be careful when choosing mussels, check if they have tightly closed shell and discard any chipped or broken shells. You have to use them within a day of purchase. Wrap them in moist paper towels and refrigerate when you get them home. When ready to use, scrub the mussels under cold, running water and remove the gritty beards. There is a little bit of work required but it is so worth it!
Serve these mussels with plenty of good crusty bread for scooping up all the juices and wash them down with a cold, Belgian wheat beer, such as Hoegaarden (which I have also used for cooking the mussels)
- 1 pound (aprox 500gr) live mussels
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 rashers smoked dry cure bacon, cut into strips
- 1 Belgian wheat beer
- 1tbsp double cream
- 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped roughly
- crusty bread, to serve
- Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the celery, garlic and bacon for a few minutes until the vegetables have softened and the bacon is golden-brown.
- Add the beer and bring to the boil.
- Add the mussels, cover and cook for 5 minutes until all the shells have opened - discard any mussels that do not open.
- Stir in the cream and parsley. Ladle into deep bowls and serve swiftly with chips or crusty bread.