Stu Chell's recipe for mussels steamed with India pale ale
| Images: Blaise van Malsen
24 Apr, 2013
The best kind of beer "mussels" you can get
Serves 1 (or 2 as an appetizer)
- 450 g (1 lb) cleaned mussels (Chell prefers East Coast)
- 250 ml (1 cup) any hop-forward India pale ale
- 1 link landjaeger sausage, very thinly sliced (any smoky sausage can be substituted)
- 45 ml (3 tbsp) butter
- 1 pinch smoked paprika
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) shallots, minced
- 2 green onions, very thinly sliced (set green tops aside, also sliced)
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste (Chell uses freshly ground white pepper and kosher salt)
Melt 15 ml (1 tbsp) butter in a large pot. Sauté sausage on medium-high for about a minute and a half.
Add shallots, garlic, the whites of the green onion (save the greens for garnish) and paprika. Sauté for another minute and a half.
Deglaze pan with beer and add mussels. Cover pot with lid and steam mussels until they open wide, 3 to 5 minutes on high heat. Take pot off heat and stir remaining butter into sauce. Sprinkle with sliced green onion.
Serve in large bowl. Enjoy with crusty bread to soak up the broth or with French fries for a classic moules frites.
What's an India pale ale?
When the British began colonizing India in the mid-18th century, beer was hard to come by on the subcontinent. Balmy temperatures made local brewing difficult, and the sea voyage of three to five months was too long to prevent spoiling.
The solution came from a London brewer: add more hops before shipping, essentially conditioning the beer en route. A natural preservative, the hops flower ensured the product arrived relatively fresh, and created a new style of bitter ale.
Today, these persist as some of the boldest and most flavourful of the craft beer industry.