One of my favorite foods, mussels sadly number among those that require the most preparation before any cooking has even begun. Mussels often have a dark, tough “beard” (read: the Byssal Thread) that needs to be removed prior to cooking. To do this, grasp the beard (using pliers if your fingers alone cannot achieve a sufficient grip) and yank toward the shell hinge, pulling the beard free. When cooking mussels, ensure that all mussel shells are closed. Tap any opened mussels lightly upon the shell with your fingers or a spoon. Discard any mussel whose shell is opened and does not return to a closed state upon having its shell tapped.
Having said that, this is enough of a favorite around the Flavorful World kitchen that any leftover bit of the rich sauce it creates is often stolen by Mrs. Flavorful World and used to flavor other savory dishes. I guess red wine and green chile just makes everything taste better.
- 2 lbs. fresh mussels
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 cup red wine
- 3-4 sprigs rosemary
- 3-4 leafy basil stems
- 1 can diced tomatoes with green chile
- 4 oz. heavy cream
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Using a firm brush, lightly scrub each side of mussel to remove any debris. Ensure that all mussels are closed. Tap any opened mussels lightly upon the shell with fingers or a spoon. Discard any mussel that is open and does not return to a closed state upon having its shell tapped. Place clean mussels in a bowl and cover them with a cool, damp paper towel.
- In a Dutch oven or deep stock pot with a lid, melt butter, then add rosemary, basil, beef stock, red wine, tomatoes with green chile, garlic, tomato paste and black pepper. Stir until all ingredients are blended and bring to a light boil.
- Stir in heavy cream and bring to a vigorous boil.
- Add mussels and cover pot with lid. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir pot contents, then cook an additional 1-2 minutes.