This dish is a little controversial because I put Cidona in my mussels. So should you. It was inspired by Normandy, where they pair mussels with cider so beautifully. I’ve added crème fraîche to temper the sweetness of the Cidona.1kg mussels
1 small onion, sliced
125g smoked bacon lardons
2 bay leaves (fresh if possible)
½ tsp curry powder
2 tbsp crème fraîche
chopped fresh parsley
To prepare the mussels, immerse them in a clean sink of cold water. Agitate. Debeard them one by one into a clean bowl, discarding any that are open and won’t close when you gently tap them on the counter. Drain and clean the sink, fill it with cold water again and re-immerse the debearded mussels. Agitate the mussels once more, then lift them from the water, leaving any sediment behind.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. When the butter starts to foam, add the onion, bacon and bay leaves and cook for 10 minutes, until the onion has softened. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute before adding the mussels and Cidona.
Cover the pan and bring to the boil. Cook for 2–3 minutes over a high heat, until all the mussels are open, stirring just once along the way. Do not overcook or the mussels will be tough and rubbery. Discard any that remain closed.
Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in the crème fraîche and parsley.
Serve straightaway with crusty bread.
From Butter Boy by Paul Flynn
Photo by Harry Weir