Mussels are a fantastic, versatile seafood. They are cheap, readily available, easy to cook and sustainable. In this recipe we present a stew of mussels with a comforting broth of potato, saffron and fennel. Serve with piles of fresh, crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices!
1kg Australian Blue Mussels
1 Cup white wine
1 Cup of fish or vegetable stock
1 pinch of saffron
1 small bulb of fennel
1 stick of celery
1 handful of continental parsley
½kg of potatoes (kipfler or waxy)
1 clove of garlic
- Debeard the mussels by pulling at the fibrous strands that come out of the hinge. Rinse the mussels well to remove any mud or grit.
- Heat a heavy-based saucepan or pot, add the mussels and wine and cover with lid
- Shake pan on high heat for 2-3 minutes, until mussels open
- Pour the mussels through a fine strainer, reserving cooking liquid. Place saffron in a small saucepan and add the reserved mussel liquid. Bring this to a simmer. Turn off and sit to steep until needed.
- Remove mussels from their shells, leaving a few whole for final presentation
- Chop the fennel, onion, carrot and celery roughly. Heat the cleaned saucepan and add olive oil. Sautee the fennel, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and parsley stem until soft.
- Add the potatoes and mussel saffron liquid. Add fish stock to just cover potato. Simmer with a lid on until the potato is cooked (approx. 10-15 minutes, check with a knife)
- Add reserved mussels back to pan and heat through briefly. Do not overcook or they will become tough and rubbery. Check seasoning – add any salt or freshly cracked pepper to taste
- Serve with chopped parsley and fresh crusty bread
- Note: Please remember that it is a MYTH that an unopened mussel should be discarded – prise open the shell to get at the meat, if it’s bad your nose will tell you!