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Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Little Mussels in Brussels!

Mussels...... in Brussels!  That's what I will always think when someone mentions mussels.  Big Guy and I ventured over the great big pond several years, enjoying mussels in Belgium, Brussels one evening.  They were fabulous!  So great we literally ignored the steak that we had ordered.  So if you ever get to Belgium, just remember the mussels are great in Brussels (as well as the chocolate!).
Big Guy brought home a pound of mussels today.  Along with our Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna, we enjoyed Beer Steamed Mussels.
Mussels are very simple to cook.  A few key points to note when dealing with steaming any shellfish - clams, mussels, oysters. First, search through the shellfish and eliminate any ones that are opened.  Toss them.  They have a great chance to be spoiled.  And bad shellfish, well, let's just not even think of that!
For Beer Steamed Mussels, I adapted this recipe from

Steamed Mussels Recipe for Two

Olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small shallots, minced
12 oz bottle of beer of your choice - Lager is the way to go. Nothing too hoppy :)
2 lbs mussels
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves and stems, finely minced
Fresh ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated

Cooking Mussels

  1. Heat large pot or a Dutch oven over medium heat, add olive oil and melt the butter. Add shallots; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
  2. Add mussels to the pot, and pour in the lager. Close lid and let mussels steam over medium heat until shells are open and the mussels turn opaque, 5~6 minutes. Make sure to shake the pan occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  3. Remove the mussels and place in a serving dish. Let the broth rest a few minutes allowing any remaining sand to settle to the bottom of the pan. Carefully pour out the broth using a ladle, avoiding the bottom.
  4. Top with cilantro leaves, black pepper, and a nice squeeze of lemon juice to taste. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese to finish off. Serve hot with crusty bread to mop up the juices!


  1. I haven't cooked mussels in beer before (usually white wine) - must give this a try.


  2. If I had not been out of white wine, that's what I "would" have used. But, got to try something new!

  3. This looks yummy! Used to gather mussels with a friend as a kid - her family loved them and always sent us out (and they were everywhere in New England).

    You should consider sharing it further on the Decidedly Healthy or Horridly Decadent Saturday Picture Linky