Moules marinière

Moules marinière

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
2kg mussels in shells
1 onion
2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
1/2 small bunch parsley
50g butter, chilled
150ml water
150ml dry white wine
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Clean the mussels and set aside.
  2. Halve, peel and finely chop the onion and shallots. Peel and crush the garlic. Roughly chop the parsley leaves.
  3. Melt half the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and shallots and sweat for about 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the water, wine and half the parsley and simmer gently for 5–10 minutes.
  4. Add the mussels, cover the pan quickly with a tight-fitting lid to retain the steam, and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to bring the mussels at the bottom to the top. Remove the lid; if the mussels are all open they are cooked, if most of them are still closed, cover and cook for a further minute or two, or until opened.
  5. Tip the mussels into a colander set over a bowl to catch the liquid and discard any mussels that have not opened. Cover the mussels with a pan lid to keep them warm. Pour the mussel liquid from the bowl back into the pan. Taste, then increase the heat and boil to reduce if necessary, until the liquid has a strong enough concentration of flavour. Reduce the heat.
  6. Cut up the remaining butter into small pieces, and whisk into the sauce, piece by piece. Taste and season with pepper, and a little salt if needed.
  7. Transfer the mussels to serving bowls, pour over the sauce and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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