Using apple cider gives a beautifully fresh, spritzy quality to freshly cooked mussels. Serve with crusty bread or a side order of fries.
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, halved and finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
4 thick rashers smoky bacon, cut into strips
400ml dry cider
4 thyme sprigs
Freshly ground black pepper
2kg mussels, washed and beards removed
2 tbsp cream or creme fraiche
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Heat butter and oil in a large, lidded pot and cook the onion, garlic and bacon until the onion is soft but not browned. Reserve some cooked bacon for a garnish.
Add cider, thyme and pepper and simmer for two minutes. Add mussels, cover and cook on a high heat for two minutes. Give the pan a big shake and remove any mussels that have opened.
Cover, simmer, shake again and remove the remaining opened mussels.
Divide the mussels between four deep bowls.
Add the cream and parsley to the pan and gently heat through, stirring. Ladle the broth over the mussels, scatter with the reserved bacon and a little extra parsley, thyme and pepper.