Yesterday was National Beer Day, so to celebrate, we thought it would be appropriate to cook something with beer! Now, there are a lot of great uses for beer when it comes to cooking. For example, it can be great in a soup, or be a great way to add flavor while grilling! However, when it comes to food I often associate Mussels with beer. Several years ago I was lucky enough to travel to Belgium, which has a very rich tradition when it comes to beer, and has for a long time claimed some of the world's best beers. In addition to that Moules Frites (Mussels and fries!) is a traditional Belgian dish (fun fact: Belgium lays claim to the invention of the "french" fry). So, while many people may first associate Belgium with waffles and chocolate, I think of Mussels, fries and beer!
Many Mussel recipes call for cooking in a white wine, but beer works great! In keeping with the theme I chose a Belgian dubbel, and I thought it was really good. I also think the flavors you get from a Belgian white or a Hefeweizen would be great too depending upon your taste. IPAs are my favorite beer to drink, but I wanted to stay away from something hoppy to not overwhelm the Mussels flavor.
This dish proved to be a quick, easy and tasty way to celebrate National Beer Day!
What you'll need:
- 2lbs Fresh Mussels
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 Cup uncooked bacon, diced
- 1/3 Cup Beer
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 small russet potato, diced into about 1/2" cubes (should be about a 1/2 cup)
- fresh basil
How you'll do it:
- Place mussels in a colander and rinse. Any mussels that don't close during rinsing, should be tapped. If they still don't close, discard them. Set aside the rest of the rinsed, closed mussels.
- In a dutch oven or stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add bacon and saute about 3 minutes (until bacon starts to get crispy).
- Add shallot, garlic, and potato and saute for about another 3-4 min (until shallots start to become translucent)
- Pour in beer and stir all ingredients together, then mix in mussels.
- Cover, turn heat to high and cook for about 5 min (until steam is coming out from under the lid and all mussels have opened).
- Garnish with basil and enjoy!