“Dad and I went down to the shack and got a few mussels off the moorings out front with the plan to make mussels in a saffron sauce. I came up with the idea after I had been in Sweden, where I noticed they use a lot of cream and saffron in their cooking.” Sam






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 30 g butter
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • pinch of saffron (about 20 threads)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) fish stock
  • 250 ml (1 cup) white wine
  • 600 ml pouring cream
  • 1.5 kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • crusty bread, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Season with the salt and pepper.

Add the saffron, stock, wine and cream, bring to a simmer, then cook for as long as you can be bothered – I would give it 15 minutes to let the saffron flavour infuse.

Add the mussels, cover with a lid, then cook over high heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the mussels are coated in the sauce, for 4 minutes or until the mussels have opened and are cooked. Stir in the parsley and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with the crusty bread.


Recipe from Island Menu by Samuel Shelley and Catherine Miller, with photographs by Samuel Shelley and Catherine Miller.