Now that his street cred has been established, I would like to mention some other awesome things about Neil. He recognizes the genius of David Byrne. He plays the trombone. He is dating my favorite dairy princess. Oh, and he volunteered to write, test-drive and serve this amazing recipe for some friends last week. Neil is good people AND he will cater your next party. If you would like to hire Neil (You should.) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m telling you, MAKE THIS. It was so delicious. We finished every last mussel and the sopped up all the broth with a loaf of bread.
Isn’t it just beautiful? Now, gather your ingredients, invite some friends over, and show off.
Beer Steamed Mussels
Yield: One large bowl of cooked mussels
|4 pounds||Fresh, live mussels|
|½ pound||Slab bacon, skin off|
|5 each||Roma tomatoes|
|2 tbsp||Kosher salt|
|½ cup||Olive oil|
|1 tsp||Fleur de sel|
|1 bottle (12oz)||Belgian golden beer|
|1 each||Yellow onion|
|4 oz||Hard cheese (Idiazabal, Manchego or Parmesan)|
|½ tsp||Cayenne pepper|
- Start by making the oven-roasted tomatoes. Set the oven to 400. First, peel the tomatoes. The best way to do this is to quickly blanch them in boiling water. Bring a large pot of water (at least 2 quarts) with 2 tbsp salt up to a boil. Mark an ‘x’ with a knife in the bottom of each tomato (this will help the skin come off more easily). Drop the tomatoes in the boiling water for 20-30 seconds, until the skin starts to wrinkle. Take them out of the boiling water and immediately drop them in an ice bath.
- When the tomatoes are cool, peel the skins off, cut the tomatoes in half the long way, place them in a baking pan and drizzle olive oil over each tomato along with the fleur de sel and thyme. Roast them covered for 30 minutes, and uncovered for another 15.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, take the lemons, and using a vegetable peeler, peel off the outer rind. Try not to peel off too much pith (the white part) because that is bitter.
- Next, put the ½ cup sugar in a pan and add the ½ cup water. Put this on high heat on the stove. When it starts boiling, stir to dissolve all the sugar, and then add the lemon rind. Simmer at medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove the lemon rind from the water to cool. (The simple syrup that remains will have lovely lemon flavor to it, save this!) When the rind is cool, cut into long, thin strips.
- Now, clean the mussels. Spray them down with cold water, making sure to get any dirt off of them. Next, de-beard the mussels. Each mussel should have some strings coming out of one side, grab on to those and pull. With a little bit of pressure, they should come off cleanly. Rinse the mussels with clean water again.
- Cut the bacon into lardons. Do this by cutting the slab into long strips that are ½ inch thick. Then take each strip and cut those into ½ thick ‘matchsticks’. Now, dice the onion into medium (1/2” thick) dice.
- Saute the bacon in a large pan (that can fit all the mussels) on medium heat until it starts to get brown. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the beer and cayenne, and bring up to a boil. Add the mussels and cover. Leave the heat on medium high for about two minutes. Take off the lid, and if the mussels have opened, they’re done. If they haven’t, cover the pan and leave on the heat for another minute.
- Pour the mussels, the broth with the bacon and onions into a large serving bowl, add the tomato, candied lemon rind and shave some cheese on top.
Serve with some fresh sourdough bread and a stronger, but dry and crisp beer, such as Upright 7 or Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale.