Beer-steaming probably dates back to the 10th or 11th century when the clean, low-alcohol beer produced in monasteries was a safer alternative to the local water supply. Today, it's back on the agenda due to our overwhelming thirst for all things craft-brewed. Every beer, from the cider-like Belgian lambics to lightly bitter pale ales, gives its own particular flavour to mussels, clams, prawns, crabs, and even hot dogs. So if you're happy to sacrifice a decent ale to the cause ...
375ml of your preferred beer
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1kg live, pot-ready mussels*
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp cream
2 tbsp flat parsley leaves, picked
2 tbsp dill, roughly chopped
freshly ground black pepper
2 chorizo sausages, sliced on diagonal
* Terrific live, pot-ready mussels such as South Australia's Kinkawooka are already de-bearded and scrubbed. Just give them a rinse and discard any broken shells.
1. Bring the beer and the garlic to the boil in a large, lidded pot, and simmer for 30 seconds. Add the mussels, cover tightly and simmer for one minute over high heat.
2. Give the pan a big shake. Using tongs, remove any mussels that have opened, replace the lid and simmer for another minute, taking out the mussels as they open.
3. Whisk the mustard and cream into the mussel broth, and add the parsley, dill and pepper.
4. Quickly sear the chorizo for two minutes in a frypan until browned.
5. Ladle the broth over the mussels in four warm bowls, top with the chorizo and its pan juices and serve.