I have been going through some old files on my laptop and I found a picture of my shy and retiring self on the stage cooking at the first Jersey Food Festival making a delicious shellfish dish Jersey Mussels with Garlic, Chilli, Caraway, and Beer.
The festival was a week of fantastic events culminating in a two-day market highlighting the islands best produce and some of its chefs. I was there to help promote the Liberation Brewery and produced three dishes all including ale. The following recipe for is one of them, it is unashamedly stuffed full of wonderful Jersey ingredients, including the amazing mussels, but you can of course use your own local supplies, it just might not taste quite so good.
More An Island Chef Mussel Recipes
Jersey Mussels in Ale generously serves 6 people
Jersey Mussels with Garlic, Chilli, Caraway, and Beer is a full flavoured spiced version of steamed mussels. Liberation Ale replaces the more common wine normally associated with mussels. The shallots and tomato concassé add a little sweetness and the dish is finished with fresh coriander. Most people in the audience seemed to understand my measurements, a slosh or a glug, especially after a glass or so of ale so I’ve kept them in the recipe.
2 kg Jersey Mussels
250 gr Tomato concassé
250 ml of Liberation Ale
6 large Banana Shallots, peeled and finely diced
4 cloves of Garlic, peeled and crushed
A good sized nugget of Jersey butter ( at least 50 gr )
A slug of quality olive oil ( 75 ml )
2 teaspoons of Caraway seeds
1 teaspoon ground Coriander
1 medium Red Chilli, finely diced
A good handful of fresh Coriander, roughly chopped
The juice of 1 freshly squeezed Lemon
Freshly ground Black Pepper
for the Tomato concassé
4- 5 ripe large Jersey Beef Tomatoes
To make the concassé, with a sharp knife remove the eye of the tomato ( the small white area where the stem joined the tomato ) and make a small cross on the bottom. Plunge in boiling water for two minutes. Remove and refresh in ice cold water. Gently peel off the skin. Quarter the tomatoes and remove the core and seeds. Dice and put to one side.
In a very large heavy bottomed pan toast the caraway seeds for two minutes over a moderate heat. Add the butter and the olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for around twenty-five minutes to soften them. Turn up the heat and add the ale and the chilli, coriander, and a good few turns of the pepper mill. Tip in the mussels and cover with tight-fitting lid. Steam for five minutes shaking the pan occasionally until the mussels are all open. Add the tomato concassé stir and cook for two more minutes. Finish with more black pepper, the lemon juice, and the chopped coriander.
Serve with warm Naan bread to mop up the sauce.
What to Drink? A fruity French Rosé will stand up to the spices and tomatoes as will the slightly bitter flavours of Belgium pale ales.
Possibly Sulphites in the Beer