Like all truly great meals, it starts with bacon, garlic and onions. This quick dish of plump, juicy mussels in a fragrant white wine broth is best served with crusty bread so you can mop up all the delicious thyme-infused sauce.
Steamed Mussels and Smoky Bacon in White Wine Sauce
- 800 gm fresh/ frozen mussels
- 4 slices bacon diced
- 2 pcs medium Red onion finely chopped
- 2 pcs medium tomatoes roughly chopped makes 1 cup
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 stalk thyme
- 2 stalks Italian parsley chopped
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 10 g Unsalted Butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
To clean fresh mussels: Put them in a large bowl of clean, cool water and leave them to soak for about 20 minutes. As the mussels breathe, they filter water and expel sand.
If you are using frozen mussels: they should already be cleaned and the shells should be opened. Leave it to defrost, rinse and set aside.
Note: Live mussels should be closed tightly. Tap any open mussels lightly against the counter. They should close up immediately, but if they do not close, throw them out. Discard any other mussels with open shells.
Remove the "beard" (little brown byssal threads sticking out from between the 2 shells). Pull it out and towards the hinge end of the mussel and discard. If the shells are dirty, scrub them with a firm brush under running water. Remove the mussels from water and place them in another clean bowl of water. This ensures that the sand does not re-enter the mussel. Set aside.
Prepare all the fresh ingredients: dice the bacon; finely chop the red onion and garlic; roughly chop the tomatoes and the parsley. Leave the thyme stalk whole.
In a large non-aluminum stockpot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and fry till it is brown and crisp. Add chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes; then add the garlic and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes, thyme, parsley, wine and pepper. Add salt if desired. Bring to a boil.
Add the mussels, stir well, then cover the pot, and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until all the mussels are opened (discard any that do not open). With the lid on, shake the pot once or twice to be sure the mussels don't burn on the bottom. Scoop out the mussels and the sauce into a large serving bowl and serve hot.
Serve with toasted sliced baguette.