Moules marinières

Serve it with frites as they do in France.

Moules Marinieres
PREP TIME 40 mins COOK TIME 20 mins MAKES 4 to 6
  • 1.8kg (3lb 8oz) mussels
  • 100ml (4floz) dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Preparation method

  1. Wash the mussels under cold running water in a sink, removing any beards and barnacles. Do not scrub the shells as the colour will transfer during cooking giving an unappetising grey colour to the dish. Discard any mussels that float or remain open when tapped against the side of the sink.
  2. Boil the wine in a small saucepan for 30 seconds then set aside. (This is to remove the harsh taste of the alcohol and leave only the fruity acidity of the wine.)
  3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a high heat, then add the onion, bay leaves and thyme. Stir for 10 seconds, then add the wine and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the mussels, cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the mussels open. (Discard any mussels that do not open.)
  5. Add the whipping cream and parsley and stir well. No seasoning is required as the mussels will release a little salt water when they open, which is enough to season the dish perfectly.
  6. Serve the mussels in a large warmed serving dish or four soup plates. Give your guests finger bowls and plenty of good-quality French bread to mop up the juices.