Cook's hat in place, solemnly dressed in a black, yellow and red apron, the avid cook deep inside all of us just needs the right ingredients to prepare a feast fit for a king. To prepare mussels in a typically-Belgian style, opt for a pan of «moules à la bière» (mussels cooked in beer).
For four persons, we recommend the following proportions:
- 6 kg washed and brushed mussels
- 2 dl fresh cream
- 100 grams butter
- 20 grams flour
- 400 grams onions and celery
- a glass of white wine and above all
- 33 cl Maredsous beer (or a Trappist beer for more punctilious cooks).
- And don't forget salt and pepper.
In a large pan:
- fry the finely chopped onions and celery.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- After this preparatory phase, add the white wine, a glass of water and half the bottle of beer.
The comes the moment we have been waiting for: add the mussels! Cook on a high heat, keep your eye on the mixture and stir often.
At the end, pour the juice from the mussels into another pan and
- add the remaining beer.
- The sauce must then boil.
- Thicken with the butter mixed with the flour.
- Add the fresh cream and leave to thicken further.
Pour the mussels into soup dishes and cover with the sauce. Always go for a low-alcohol beer, irrespective of which one you choose (Trappist or Maredsous) to avoid inebriating the mussels. You have to choose between drinking and eating! "Bon appétit". Nicolas Alsteen