This recipe contains multiple warnings. It’s delicious, which is the most important thing but don’t mess with seafood. It’s a valuable life lesson.

Mussels in Cider


3kg mussels

300g smoked bacon or pancetta lardons

6 shallots, finely sliced

9 cloves garlic, minced

300ml dry cider

6tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

3tbsp crème fraiche

Crusty bread to serve


  1. Scrub the mussels and remove the beards. Tap each mussel on a hard work surface; if the mussel does not remain closed, discard it. It’s not worth getting sick.
  2. In a pan large enough to fit all the mussels in an even layer, fry the pancetta until the fat has melted and the pancetta is golden brown.
  3. Add the shallots and garlic, and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, or until softened.
  4. Add the mussels and cider, stir well and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Steam the mussels for 5-6 minutes, or until the mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that remain shut. Again, don’t mess with seafood. It will feel like the end of the world, and you’ll wind up questioning your life-choices, all from the perspective of somewhere on your bathroom floor.
  5. Stir in the parsley and transfer the mussels to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon.
  6. Stir the crème fraiche into the mussel cooking liquid in the pan and season with black pepper. Pour the liquid over the mussels. Serve with fresh crusty bread.