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Belgian Ale Braised Mussels

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Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Servings 4

Make Rick Tramonto's Belgian Ale Braised Mussels



  • Smoked Country Ham, diced, 4 oz.
  • Butter, unsalted, 2 T
  • EVOO 2T
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • Garlic, minced, 1T
  • 1 shallot, minced 1T
  • Mussels, Debearded, 2 #
  • 1 bottle of Belgian style ale
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped 1T
  • Tarragon, chopped 1T
  • Basil, chopped 1T
  • 1 crusty baguette cut into 1" pieces

(There are approximately 22 mussels per pound. I like to use Prince Edward Island Mussels when available)


Always buy fresh mussels, and use them within a day. Choose tightly closed shells, or those that are slightly open and snap shut when tapped. This shows that the mussel is alive; Avoid broken or chipped shells. Remove the mussels from the packaging, and store them wrapped in a moist towel (place in a bowl or on a sheet tray) in the fridge. Don't store them in plastic because the mussels have to breathe

Scrub the mussel to remove any sand or dirt on the shell. Holding it under cool water, scrub each mussel's shell with a stiff-bristled brush.

Debeard to remove the byssus threads (or beard), which connect the mussel to rocks in the water. Grab the fibers with your fingers, and pull them out, tugging toward the hinged point of the shell.

  1. In a shallow pot heat on Med High 1T of the butter and 2 T evoo, add the ham and cook until crispy and rendered. (saving all the fat for the shallots and garlic).
  2. Add shallots, thyme and garlic, sweat for 2 minute until soft.
  3. Add mussels, stir to coat, and cook for 1 minute.  Add beer, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all the mussels are open (8-10 minutes).
  4. Discard all un-opened mussels
  5. Finish with remaining butter, fresh herbs and lemon juice.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. Divide evenly into 4 bowls with a slotted spoon.  Pour broth over mussels.
  8. Serve with bread to dip.
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