Sam's recipe of the month: Mussels with bacon and cider

Support sustainable fishing with this delicious recipe for mussels with a Suffolk twist

Lots of people are worried about eating shellfish, concerned perhaps about falling ill or not liking the taste. Mussels, when cooked correctly, are superb. Wonderfully fishy with the natural saltiness of the sea, they are great accompanied by the simple Suffolk flavours of bacon and cider, adding a brilliant sweetness to the hot seafood broth.

Mussels must be prepared correctly before cooking. If your fishmonger hasn’t already done it, pull off the fibrous "beards" and wash under a cold tap. Discard any mussels that won’t close when lightly squeezed as this is a sign that they are dead.

One of the most sustainably farmed fish on the market, why not try mussels this month? Served with fresh, crusty bread of course!


1kg fresh mussels

50g Suffolk bacon, cut into small cubes

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2 shallots, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2tbsp parsley, roughly chopped

250ml dry Suffolk cider

2tbsp cr�me fraiche

Ground black pepper

Large knob of butter


Serves 4

In a large, deep sided saucepan, heat the butter over a medium heat. Add bacon and fry until it starts to go crispy. Now throw in shallots, garlic and parsley. Fry to soften shallots for about 3 minutes. Place mussels on top and immediately pour in the cider. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer to steam mussels for about 12-15 minutes, until they open up. Remove mussels from pan using a slotted spoon and place in a serving dish, or four separate bowls, discarding any that haven’t opened whilst cooking. Bring the liquid to the boil and add a grinding of pepper. Remove from heat and stir in cr�me fraiche to thicken. Pour sauce over mussels and serve with crusty bread or chips (or both!)