Belgian Mussels

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Belgian Mussels

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Adjust Servings:
2 pounds mussels
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup diced smoked ham
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 minced shallot
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bottle (12 ounce) Belgian-style ale
1 tbsp flat lead parsley finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
to taste Kosher Salt
to taste freshly ground black pepper
  • 35 min
  • Serves 4
  • Medium




Belgium is located right along the North Sea, a place famous for its impeccable seafood! For this reason, mussels are an incredibly popular dish in Belgium, often served with French Fries instead of bread. They are cooked in a variety of sauces, white wine and shallots being the most simple and most popular. They are often cooked in local beer!


  1. Under cool water, scrub each mussel’s shell with a stiff-bristled brush. Remove the byssus thread (or beard), which connects the mussel to rocks in the water. Grab the fibers with your fingers and pull them out, tugging toward the hinged point of the shell.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan or skillet, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. After the butter melts, add the ham and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until crispy and the fat has rendered.
  3. Add the garlic, shallot, and thyme and cook in the rendered fat over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes, or until soft. Add the mussels, stir to coat with the vegetables and pan juices, and cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the beer, cover the pan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until all the mussels open.
  5. Add the parsley, tarragon, basil, lemon juice, and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Toss to distribute the herbs and lemon juice and allow the butter time to melt. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, serve them in a large bowl or divide the mussels evenly among 4 smaller bowls. Pour the broth from the pan over the mussels, and serve with fries or bread.

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