Now that you're pumped up and ready to go, let's talk about the other kind of mussels, or moules, as they are called in French and Belgian cuisine. Tonight's meal was inspired by my co-worker who made mussels the other night. They looked so good, that we had to make a pot of our own. The nice thing it, it's a simple, one-pot meal that you can make any night of the week.
Start by cleaning and scrubbing your mussels. You want to make sure you get all the grit and sand off the shells. Otherwise, it'll end up in your broth. Then we sliced up some bacon and crisped it up in the pot that we made our broth in. Once the fat rendered out, and the bacon was crispy, we removed the bacon from the pot and kept it to the side for later. Now, our bacon was pretty salty, so as we built our broth, we really didn't have to add any additional salt, but just taste as you go, and season accordingly.
Our bacon was also pretty lean, so we added a bit of grapeseed oil to the pot of bacon fat. Once it was up to temp, we tossed in our minced garlic and shallot. Once they softened, we added in some sauvignon blanc to deglaze the pot. Make sure you scrape up all the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan when you add the wine.
Then just let it simmer and reduce down. We added some freshly cracked pepper, and a bit of water because it was tasting a bit salty. Just before you add your mussels, toss in your tomatoes. You want them to cook down a little, but not completely.
Toss in your mussels, place a lid on the pot and let them steam for about 3 minutes. Give the pot an occasional shake so all the mussels can be coated in your broth. And voila!
It couldn't be any simpler. Spoon your mussels and broth into a bowl, and garnish with some chopped parsley. In true Belgian fashion, the meal wouldn't be complete without beer and frites. We went with some sweet potato fries with a homemade roasted garlic mayo, and some Biere du Boucanier, a Belgian ale.