Make sure you use fresh local black mussels and not those dreadful green-lipped mussels as they arrive frozen in Australia and they’ve already given up the ghost. Discard any shells that are broken or open as they are long gone as well.
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small chorizo, peeled and diced
- 1 medium leek, pale part only, washed and diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 large or 2 smaller ripe tomatoes, chopped (tinned is okay if you can’t get ripe tomatoes)
- 250 ml (1 cup) cider
- 1 handful flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1 kg mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded (see Note)
- crusty bread, to serve
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.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a tight fitting lid over low heat. Gently fry the chorizo to release some of its fat, then add the leek and garlic and cook until soft and translucent. Add the tomato and stir until it starts to soften and break apart. Increase heat to high, then add the cider and parsley and boil for 1 minute. Throw in the mussels, cover and cook, shaking the pan vigorously every now and then for 3-4 minutes. I like to take them out as they open so they don’t overcook. Divide the mussels among 2 bowls and serve with plenty of bread for soaking up the juices.
• To de-beard mussels: as close as possible to cooking time, scrub them with a scourer or similar, then clasp the straggly bit (the beard) with one hand and grip the shell with the other hand. Twist and rotate the shell and the beard should give way. Rinse the mussels before the final cooking.
This recipe is from Gourmet Farmer Afloat. Starts Thursday 19 February 2015 at 7:30pm on SBS ONE.