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Mussels with Bacon and Red Wine

May 22, 2010

It was such a delight to stumble into a restaurant in Paris that only served mussels.  As I learned after that wonderful experience there are quite a few restaurants that are similar.  The list was long, about 25-30 different combinations and they had various soups, salads and a beautiful selection of desserts.  I make mussels a lot here in South Florida, not too much work and not too much heat in the kitchen.  I make this one quite frequently but if you have a favorite please send me the details.  Would love to try your winning recipe.

Mussels with Bacon and Red Wine


  • 4 1/2 Pints Live Mussels
  • 6 Slices Bacon
  • 1 C. Red Wine
  • 2 T. Butter
  • 1 Fresh Thyme Sprig
  • 4 Shallots
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (finely chopped)
  • 3 Large Ripe Tomatoes (seeded and chopped) substituted canned whole tomatoes
  • 1 T. All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 T. Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper


  1. Clean mussels thoroughly, discarding any that are broken or do not close when sharply tapped
  2. Put them in a large saucepan with the wine, cover, bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time until the mussels are open.
  3. Transfer the mussels to a bowl discarding any that have not opened
  4. Strain the liquid into a bowl, discarding any sand or grit.
  5. Melt 1 T. butter in a saucepan, add the thyme and bacon and cook until crisp.
  6. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft.
  7. Add the tomatoes
  8. Mash the remaining butter and the flour together and stir into the saucepan a piece at a time, stirring until the flour is cooked and the sauce is smooth
  9. Add the mussel liquid gradually stirring until the sauce has thickened.  If it is too thick, add a little water
  10. Reheat the mussels in the sauce for a few moments
  11. Stir in the parsley and check and adjust the seasoning
  12. Serve with a fresh baguette or toasted garlic bread

(Serves 6)

Adapted from “Savoring Ireland, Cooking Through the Seasons”  by Nuala Cullen

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2010 01:40

    Yeah, it’s good, very useful, thanks 🙂

  2. May 23, 2010 11:41

    Thanks for commenting. The bacon is a very Irish spin on that recipe. I make them with white clam sauce and white wine as well as just garlic and butter. Would love to hear what you come up with!

  3. May 23, 2010 03:43

    Great idea.. never occured to me to do mussels with a meat accompaniment before… but thinking about it, I’m sure it works really well, cos the mussels are quite a strong flavour.. 🙂

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