Mussels in wine

This recipe is for mussels in a cream and white wine sauce.   This fish recipe is great if you are looking for a straightforward recipe for mussels.

Ingredients – Serves 2

  • Approx 1kg mussels
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 2 shallots
  • 150ml double cream
  • 25g butter
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • A few chives, for garnish
  • Sea salt / pepper
  • 1 garlic clove

For the bouquet garni:

  •  6 parsley stalks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

Getting everything ready

  1. Wash the mussels well under cold running water.  Pull away any fibrous ‘beards’.  These are pieces of rope that may have grown on and scrape off any barnacles that you may find on the shells.  Throw away any mussels that are open and stay open when tapped with your knife or on your board.  Rewash and leave in a colander.
  2. Pick the leaves off the parsley.  Wash, dry and roughly chop the parsley.  Save the stalks for the bouquet garni.
  3. Wash the bay leaf and sprig of thyme and tie together with the parsley stalks to make the bouquet garni.
  4. Peel and finely chop the shallots into fine dice.
  5. Measure the cream and white wine.
  6. Peel and bruise the garlic and rub the inside of the pan you are going to use.  Then throw the garlic away.


  1. Heat a large pan that has a tight-fitting lid over a high heat on the hob.  When the pan is hot, carefully put in the mussels, pour in the wine and add the shallots and bouquet garni.  Place on the lid, shake the pan well and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, giving the pan a shake from time to time.
  2. By now, the mussels should be cooked and fully opened.  Remove the lid and drain into a colander.  Save the liquid.  Throw away the herbs as their job is done.  And most important, throw away any mussels that have not opened.  Keep the mussels warm.
  3. Return the liquid to the hob, bring to the boil and leave to reduce by about a third.  Turn down the heat and whisk in the butter.  Add the cream and chopped parsley.  Season to taste.
  4. Divide between large warmed soup plates.  Spoon over some of the sauce, garnish with a few lengths of chives and serve at once.

Hints and tips

It is nice to serve hunks of warm crispy bread.

Take no chances.  Throw away any mussels that are not closed before cooking and throw away any that stay closed when cooked.

Watch this mussels in wine being cooked

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