Tomales Bay Beer-Steamed Mussels with Crusty Bread | CUESA

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Tomales Bay Beer-Steamed Mussels with Crusty Bread


Ben Weisberger, Hyatt Regency San Francisco

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on March 8, 2014.

Serves 4


1 pound mussels
¼ pound sausage, cut or crumbled into bite-size pieces (Andouille, chorizo or linguica recommended—something smoky and spicy)
1 small bulb fennel, julienned
1 medium shallot, julienned
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
2 tablespoons butter (if needed)
Salt and pepper
12 to 16 ounces beer (ale or lager preferred)
1 bunch chervil, chopped
1 loaf crusty baguette or other crusty bread


1.    Soak the mussels in cool fresh water for 20 minutes; this will help release any sand or dirt inside the shells. Lift the mussels out of the bowl by hand or with a slotted spoon into another bowl– do not pour them through a colander. Remove any dead mussels (those that will not re-close when tapped and those that have cracked shells). Clean and rinse the fresh mussels by removing the beards and scrubbing the shells. Set them aside.

2.    Brown the sausage in a large skillet (with a cover) by cooking over medium-high heat to release some of the fat. Add the fennel, shallot, garlic, and chili flakes and cook until the fennel is tender. Add butter if more fat is needed in the pan. Season with salt and pepper.

3.    Add the mussels and beer to the pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Steam just until the mussels are open.

4.    Serve immediately in bowls, with the broth, garnishing with chopped chervil. Serve with crusty fresh bread to sop up the delicious juices!

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