Mussels with Cider, Armagnac & Thyme

Mussels with Cider, Armagnac & Thyme



Serves 4

  • 2kg (4lb) mussels, cleaned and beards removed
  • 20g (3/4 oz) butter
  • 140g (4 ½ oz) dry-cured streaky bacon diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 shallots, halved
  • 50ml (2fl oz)Armagnac(optional)
  • 150ml (5fl oz) cider
  • 300ml (7fl oz) crème fraiche
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Check over the mussels, discarding any that are open or that don't shut when you tap them.

Melt the butter in a large pan, add the bacon and fry for 3-4 minutes.  Add the bay leaf, thyme and shallots and cook for a few more minutes.  Then add theArmagnac, if using, the mussels and the cider and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the mussels from the pan with a slotted spoon when they have all opened.  Discard any that are still shut.  Simmer the sauce for a few minutes more and stir in the crème fraiche.  Season well with salt and pepper to serve.