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Mussels served in Old Dutch on the beach


Serves 4 – 6  as a main course and heaps more as an entrée!

Nothing beats a big feed of seafood over an open fire on the beach. I grew up eating like this and Dad led the charge.  He was a committed seafood gatherer. A committed fire maker. And he always loved to pour beer from big bottles on everything he cooked.

If he was still around to play with fire on the beach with me and my Ironclad pots and pans I know he’d be 100% happy. So this one’s for you Dad.

Introducing our first Father’s Day Old Dutch recipe. Succulent mussels straight from the sea, gently simmered in the sweetest of ciders with rich and smoky free range bacon and a gentle dusting of parmesan. 

The Mussels

3 kg fresh mussels, cleaned and beards removed
250g streaky Freedom Farm Bacon 
3 T olive oil 
1 large leek, sliced finely
1 large onion, diced
1 bulb garlic, minced
5 bay leaves
300ml apple cider

To Serve

Juice of one lemon 
Fresh parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Fill up the pot of your Old Dutch with mussels and pop to one side as you prepare the ‘secret sauce’.

Lay bacon on your cold Old Dutch lid and fry over hot flame till sizzling and brown. Remove bacon to drain on paper towels.

To the hot lid and left over bacon fat, add olive oil, leek, onion, garlic and bay leaves and sauté till leeks are just beginning to brown.  

Add the cider and let the mixture simmer and reduce for 5 minutes. Add chopped up bacon bits and simmer for a further minute. 

Pour the bacon mix over the pot of raw mussels. Throw in a glug more cider, Pop the lid on and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes till the mussels are open and threatening to burst out of the pot! 

 Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice, a dusting of parmesan and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. And of course lashings of cider!  

And don’t forget to dig deep into the pot and slurp up all that delicious mussel and cider juice.

Thanks Dad for sharing with me the simple pleasure of cooking with fire.