Mussels with cider, tarragon and crème fraîche

Mussels with cider, tarragon and crème fraîche
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min, simmering time 5-8 min

A hearty recipe, full of British flavours. Mop up all the creamy, cider sauce with some crusty bread. If you’re up to it, you could even forage the mussels yourself.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
506kcals
Fat
40.1g (25.2g saturated)
Protein
24g
Carbohydrates
5.4g (4.6g sugars)
Fibre
0.5g
Salt
1.2g
Calories
506kcals
Fat
40.1g (25.2g saturated)
Protein
24g
Carbohydrates
5.4g (4.6g sugars)
Fibre
0.5g
Salt
1.2g

Ingredients

  • 60g butter
  • 100g (about 5 large) finely chopped shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1.75kg fresh mussels (see tips), cleaned
  • 400ml dry cider
  • 200ml crème fraîche
  • Small bunch fresh tarragon, chopped, plus a few extra leaves
  • Crusty French bread to serve

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a very large pan with a lid over a low-medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes until soft but not browned.
  2. Turn up the heat to high, add the mussels and cider, then cover with the lid. Cook over a high heat for 4-5 minutes, shaking the pan every now and then or until all the mussels have opened (discard any that stay closed). 3. Lift the mussels out of the cooking liquid with a slotted spoon and divide among 4 warmed serving bowls. Still over a high heat, boil the cooking liquid for 1-2 minutes (taste to check it first – if it’s already very salty and strongly flavoured, skip this step).
  3. Stir in the crème fraîche, chopped tarragon and some seasoning to taste (you may not need any salt). Spoon all but the last few spoonfuls of the sauce back over the bowls of mussels – discard this as it often contains grit from the opened mussels. Garnish the bowls with the whole tarragon leaves and serve with plenty of crusty French bread.

delicious. tips

  1. To clean mussels, scrub under cold running water. Remove any string-like ‘beards’ and discard any open mussels that don’t close firmly when tapped.
    Debbie says ‘Go for rope-grown mussels. They’re fat and juicy with clean shells, and all about the same size, so they’ll open at the same time.’

  2. A light, dry cider works here, or a crisp, lemony white wine such as muscadet or Touraine sauvignon blanc.

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