Scottish Mussels with Cider, Leek and Bacon
Caroline Rye Caroline Rye is The Urban Fishwife, Edinburgh based chef, food writer and food stylist specialising in seafood
Knob of unsalted butter
150g smoked middle bacon, roughly chopped
1 leek, washed and sliced on the diagonal
1 330ml bottle dry Scottish cider
50ml double cream
Large handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped, plus extra for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
Crusty bread, to serve
- Wash the mussels under cold running water. Get rid of any ‘beards’ still attached to the shell. If any mussels are open tap them sharply on the side of the colander or bowl, they should close straightaway. Discard any that remain open, or any with cracked or broken shells.
- Put the mussels to one side. In a large sauté pan, casserole or wok with a lid, melt the butter over a medium heat. When foaming add the bacon. Fry for a few minutes until the bacon fat starts to render down.
- Add the leeks and fry for two minutes more.
- Pour in the cider. It should bubble and foam. Simmer off the alcohol for a minute then slightly reduce the heat.
- Put the mussels into the pan. Place the lid on and let them steam for 4-5 minutes, until they have all opened. Shake the pan halfway through to help them along.
- Stir in the cream and sprinkle over the parsley. Give everything a good stir and serve straightaway, divided between four bowls. Don’t forget to scoop up all the broth, bacon and leeks as well as the mussels. Serve with extra parsley and crusty bread.