Moules marinière is a real treat – most of all though, it’s not crazy expensive and it’s so easy to make.
The trickiest part by far is finding the mussels to cook. I live in the East End – home of the eel and mash…but no mussels – yet when I visit my parents in Leicester (surely one of the furthest places from the sea in all of Britain) then there seem to be mussels aplenty. Weird.
Once you’ve hunted down your mussels, start by preparing them, which is particularly important if they’ve travelled from the coastline to central Leicester.
Take the mussels out of the net and dump them into a sink. Rinse them thoroughly and scrape off the barnacles, dirt and hairy little ‘beards.’ It’s important that you chuck away broken or open shells, and be very wary of half-open shells that don’t shut once you’ve tapped it on the side.
2x 1kg bags of mussels
3 onions or 6 shallots
3 garlic cloves
150 ml white wine
100 ml double cream
Handful of chopped parsley
Once you’ve prepared the mussels, then dice up the onions and grind the garlic.
Heat some butter in a big casserole dish, then cook the onions and the garlic. Add some white wine and let it simmer away for a couple of minutes.
Put the mussels in the pot, and let them cook for 4 minutes until they’ve popped open. Tip the cream over the mussels, sprinkle the chopped parsley on top and stir.
Serve generous portions of mussels in big bowls with some homemade bread to soak up the delicious juices. Enjoy!