View Full Version : Mussels: Beer Steamed Mussels

06-17-2009, 07:27 PM
Mussels Beer Steamed Mussels

Steamed shellfish are one of my favorite ways to entertain guests. It is a true delicacy that any home cook can easily prepare and execute, and do so at a very reasonable price.

To celebrate the completion of our gardening project, we made some steamed mussels last night. The beer drinker that I am, I prefer my mussels steamed in beer over the more traditional mussels in white wine broth. Steamed clams are a different story entirely, but I will save that for another post.

Mussels Nutrition
The black gold of the ocean, mussels are high in protein, low in fat, and when compared to beef low in calories as well. They are also rich in calcium, iron and vitamins C and B12. Not to mention the fact that they pack plenty of essential Omega-3 fatty acids known to help reduce the risk for heart disease.

One serving of mussels (quarter of a pound of meat) contains 25 grams of protein, 4.5 grams of fat, 7.4 grams of carbohydrates and a whopping 172 calories. One pound of mussels per person is what I typically serve up for a main course dish.

Cleaning Mussels
As with any shellfish (clams, oysters and the like), mussels must be cooked while they are still alive. Smell them before purchase, they should smell like the ocean and should not have any major odor. Soak the mussels in cool fresh water for 20-30 minutes before cooking and the scrub the mussels under running water with your hands, or a brush to remove sand, kelp, barnacles, or other attachments. If you find a bearded mussels, give the beard a nice tug with your hand or use kitchen scissors and it should come right off.

As with any shellfish Discard mussels that are broken, cracked, chipped or not tightly closed.

Steamed Mussels Recipe for Two
Olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small shallots, minced
12 oz bottle of beer of your choice - Lager is the way to go. Nothing too hoppy :)
2 lbs mussels
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves and stems, finely minced
Fresh ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated

Cooking Mussels
Heat large pot or a Dutch oven over medium heat, add olive oil and melt the butter. Add shallots; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add mussels to the pot, and pour in the lager. Close lid and let mussels steam over medium heat until shells are open and the mussels turn opaque, 5~6 minutes. Make sure to shake the pan occasionally to ensure even cooking.
Remove the mussels and place in a serving dish.

Let the broth rest a few minutes allowing any remaining sand to settle to the bottom of the pan. Carefully pour out the broth using a ladle, avoiding the bottom. Top with cilantro leaves, black pepper, and a nice squeeze of Lemon juice to taste. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese to finish off. Serve hot with crusty bread to mop up the juices!

06-17-2009, 07:40 PM
Yum! Mussels are a treat! Carrabas ahs a great mussel appetizer like that but I think they use wine instead of beer.

06-17-2009, 07:41 PM
Yum! But can you post the clam recipe that's mentioned?

06-17-2009, 07:42 PM
I like mine with white wine and chopped tomatoes and garlic...and some red pepper flakes

Mussels fra diavolo.....

06-17-2009, 08:36 PM
I like mine with white wine and chopped tomatoes and garlic...and some red pepper flakes

Mussels fra diavolo.....Don't forget the chopped onions and sharlots.Several loafs of crusty bread
to sop up all of the liquid and never add tomatoes.Whenever I make the dish there is never enough and it always goes fast .


1 lg. onion (chopped lg.)
1 1/2 c. white wine
1/2 pat of butter, sliced
3 lbs. clams
4 stalks celery
1 tbsp. parsley
1/2 c. water

Chop onions, and celery into bite-size pieces and set aside. Place water and wine into a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Place a steaming rack into the bottom of the Dutch oven to keep the clams off the bottom. Place the clams into the Dutch oven.

Put onions,and celery over the clams, sprinkle parsley over the vegetable mixture then place butter slices over the top. Cook covered on top of stove at medium temperature for 20 to 30 minutes or until clams open. Remove from heat and pour into a large casserole dish, juice and all. Then serve with bread and wine, or other drink of your choice.

I recommend a dry white Pinot Grigio Wines from Italy, Cavit is a good label .A mutant clone of Pinot Noir. Pinot Gris grows best in cool climates. Pinot Gris produces wines ranging from white to slightly pink and from dry, light, and crisp to honey rich.

06-17-2009, 09:58 PM
Authentic italians add tomatoes as we serve the mussels with linguini.:D

BUT what do I know...I was only born where the dish was created...:p

06-18-2009, 01:53 AM
Authentic italians add tomatoes as we serve the mussels with linguini.:D

BUT what do I know...I was only born where the dish was created...:p
The Italian Cuisine varies depending on where in Italy you are.To the south its tomato sauce and pasta .towards the center the food changes to more meat and vegstable dishes with a different milk formaggio.Towards Piemonte its heavy beef, more lamb and goat.Formaggio from lamb and Goat milk and heavy crusty bread .
I spent some time in Ivera in the mountains and never had a tomato based sauce but lots of white wine and formaggio sauces.

The steamed mussels in white wine is a very delicate dish with a fragrant after taste .Tomato's overpower the basic flavor and destroy the after taste.For your own satisfaction try it both ways .Some like clam chowder with tomato's others do not !
Here's a few more that don't use tomato's !
Pasta And Mussel Sauce

14 oz shell pasta
1 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
6 pints mussels, scrubbed
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup butter
6 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
5 Tbl chopped fresh parsley
1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Pull the beards off the mussels and rinse well in several changes of cold water. Discard any mussels that do not close when sharply tapped. Put mussels in large pan with the white wine. Cover pan, shake well, and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until mussels open.
Remove pan from heat, lift out mussels with slotted spoon, reserving liquid, and set aside until they are cool enough to handle. Discard any mussels that have not opened.
Melt butter in pan over medium heat, stir in garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Gradually pour in reserved liquid, stirring to blend well. Stir in parsley and cream. Season to taste and bring to a simmer.
Cook pasta in large pan of boiling salted water, with the oil, for 8-10 minutes, or until tender. Drain pasta, return to pan, cover, and keep warm.
Remove mussels from shells. Stir mussels into cream sauce. Place pasta in warmed serving dish, pour in the sauce, and toss well to blend. Serve hot, with warm, crusty bread.

2 dozen mussels (Maine are preferable)
1/2 c. cornmeal
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. crushed garlic
1 tbsp. Tabasco
1/4 c. white wine (water can be substituted)
Pinch crushed red pepper
Pinch salt (if necessary)
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro

1. Remove string-like beard from mussel by pulling and cleaning outside shell if necessary discard any that will not stay closed.
2. Place in large pot and completely cover with water.
3. Stir in cornmeal and place in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. (This will purge most sand from inside.)
4. Drain and rinse off mussels.
5. In a large saucepan heat oil, garlic and Tabasco until light brown.
6. Toss mussels in and stir until coated.
7. Pour wine (or water) in pot add red pepper and cover.
8. Bring to boil and stir occasionally until all shells open. (Some may not, but can be forced.) 9. Taste sauce and add season if necessary.
10. Remove mussels to large bowl, add cilantro to sauce and pour over top. Serve with bread or over pasta.