Classic Belgian Mussels

At breakfast we were taking about the different places we have been to and Don recalled, with a gleam in his eye, about the mussels he had (many times) in Belgium. This is what everyone drooled over while consuming them.

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 small shallots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 lbs. mussels, scrubbed and debearded. Be sure to discard any that remain open when tapped
  • 1 1/2 cups Belgian beer
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche
  • 3 sprigs flat leaf parsley. Stems removed and chopped
  • 1 baguette, sliced

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme and sweat until the shallots are translucent.

Add the mussels, beer and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Make sure the lid is tight.

Remove the lid and add the crème fraiche. Cover again and cook for no longer than 4 minutes. Discard any mussels that have not opened.

Stir in the parsley and taste the broth. If needed, add a pinch more salt and pepper. Mussels release a salty brine naturally.

Serve in a 4 large bowls with sliced baguettes on the side for dipping.


If  you really want to do it up the European way, make your own thinly sliced French fries. Cook them twice. This way they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Together: heaven or as one lady we were watching looked like, the angels were singing to her with each bite.


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