1kg Westcountry Fowey mussels cleaned and washed with beard removed.
1 banana shallot, diced thin
½ small carrot, diced thin
½ stick cellery, diced thin
¼ leek, diced thin
1 clove of garlic, crushed
200ml local cider
50-100g organic local butter (amount down to preference – British rapeseed oil is another alternative)
Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp of fresh lovage, chopped (if you have it – this dish tastes great without it too)
(1 tsp Cornish Seaweed Company seaweed salad, if you have it – again, this dish tastes great without it too!)
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
We have chosen this dish to highlight the incredible work of Westcountry Mussels who produce a truly sustainable supply of Fowey Mussels.
Their farming site in St Austell Bay has become packed with fish where there were none before, acting as a natural sanctuary giving shelter to large shoals of fish of every description as well as dolphins and rare seabirds. All attracted by the abundance of food that the mussel farm attracts, this is a glimpse of the perfect eco system between nature and a commercial enterprise- more than just sustainable, actually enriching the environment.
First check the mussels- Discard them if there are any wide open that do not close after being washed as they are dead and mussels need to be cooked from alive.
Place the diced shallots, carrot, celery, leek, crushed garlic and butter in a wide saucepan. Sweat down on a medium heat. Once these vegetables are soft, turn up the heat and add the mussels along with the cider. Place a tightly fitted lid on the pan to ensure the mussels steam- this will take around 3 – 4 minutes.
Once all the mussels have opened, give the pan a good shake and steam for a further 1 minute. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon into your serving bowls. Place the liquid in the pan back on the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce for 1 minute, then remove from the heat, taste the broth and season with the seaweed salad if you have it, the black pepper and sea salt to taste.
Now add the chopped parsley and or the lovage, stir and serve with crusty bread for dipping.
Salt and Malt