Mussels with Bacon and Punk IPA

September 15, 2011


Mussels with Bacon and Punk IPA

Clack, clackity clack; I love the sound of mussels being stirred in a pan. It’s one of the best kitchen sounds in my opinion, up there with The Sizzle and The Plop. In fact, I don’t know why I’m not eating more mussels when they’re cheap (£3.50 per kilo from Soper’s in Nunhead) and they cook really fast.

I’m also drawn to them because they just love to be cooked with a bit of booze. I like that in my ingredients. A splash of white wine of course is essential in moules marinières but I wanted something different and one of my favourite beers immediately sprang to mind: Punk IPA by Brewdog. It’s an astonishing beer, really. The first time you drink it your eyes go wide with shock at just how different it is from all the others; at once bitter and sweet, it has a floral flavour that really works well with the mussels.

A big bowl of mussels is of course extremely good fun to pick through, made all the better by the knowledge that you’ve got a loaf of good bread to sop up those juices.

The very best thing about this recipe though, is that Punk IPA cans come in packs of 4, so you can drink the other 3.

Mussels with Bacon and Punk IPA

1kg fresh mussels
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
4 rashers thick cut smoked bacon, diced (get some nice bits of fat in there)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 can Brewdog Punk IPA (you can buy it from Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s and Utobeer in Borough Market for the Londoners. Also, online in bottles).
1/2 lemon
Small handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped

Crusty bread, to serve

Put your mussels in a colander and scrub them under cold running water to remove any dirt from the outside. Knock off any barnacles you can and remove any gritty beards by pulling them. Discard any mussels which do not close when you give them a sharp tap on a hard surface and also any that have broken shells.

Heat a little oil in a pan large enough to hold the mussels and add the bacon, onion, celery and garlic and cook, stirring until the bacon is beginning to crisp up. Add the beer and some black pepper and bring to the boil, then add the mussels. Put the lid on and cook on a high heat for about 5 minutes, giving the pan a shake now and then, until the mussels have steamed open. Discard any mussels that don’t open.

Sprinkle with the parsley, squeeze over the lemon, and serve with the bread.

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  • Avatar
    Reply James Curtis September 15, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Going to have to try this next weekend! Nice to see my local fish mongers get a mention. Also good to see punk IPA used in food! Especially as I bought shares in them a few months ago! Have you dabbled with investing yet in their ‘equity for punks’?

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    Reply Helen September 15, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Sweet. Jesus. I shouldn’t be thinking about dinner this early in the morning…

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    Reply Susan September 15, 2011 at 10:02 am


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    Reply Lizzie September 15, 2011 at 10:16 am

    As you know I’m not a huge fan of beer but this looks awesome. MMMM BACON.

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    Reply Chris September 15, 2011 at 11:19 am

    1. It has the best beer in the world in
    2. It has bacon in

    You could put anything else in that pan and I would have happily scoffed it down. But mussels and beer is genius.

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    Reply daniele September 15, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I’m italian and our see is full of this mussels. But I must recognize that a british version with bacon sounds fantastic!!! I’m gonna try it this weekend.

    P.S.: thanks for suggesting the shop to by ’em in nunhead… u r feeding my addiction to mussels 🙂

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    Reply Anonymouse September 15, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Another nice blog/site I have stumbled on. It is good to see so many.
    The sound of mussels, I have never thought of before. I agree that clack clack sound is a very nice sound.
    So it’s off to the beach, for me at the weekend. I have never cooked mussels in beer before. I have seen recipes using beer. This one, sounds like the trip. Usually I use cider (Thatcher’s Katy Cider).
    I also have a mussel Pilau to try (from Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Great Escape’).
    I used a cobra beer in his venison stew this was from the same book. Fantastic result. Usually my red meat stews have Theakstones Old Peculiar in them.
    Again cool site, you have.

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    Reply chutneyandspice September 15, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I love the photo of the mussels, what a great spotty backdrop. Beer and mussels, how could you go wrong?! Delicious.

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    Reply Shu Han September 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    I’m not a fan of beer alone, but i go nuts for beer or wine in cooking! this sounds delicious. You’re right, I should be getting mussels more often.. they just kind of take up alot of space for the amount you can eat if you know what I mean..

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    Reply thelittleloaf September 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I’ve never cooked mussels with beer – have always used white wine – but I’m going to give this a go next time I cook up a batch. I can imagine it goes beautifully with the salty bacon. Yum!

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    Reply Ziu September 19, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I was CRAVING mussels all week and was determined to have some for Saturday dinner. But.. I couldnt get them ANYWHERE! Crazy. None of the supermarkets I tried had them (sold out??) and fishmongers are so hard to come by there days.. Had to go with a plan B. Craving continues.

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    Reply Anonymouse September 19, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Mussels in Beer Done!
    Tried to get Punk IPA from Tesco,their web site has it on the search engine. Alas I cycled in vain, our Tescos had none.
    I used Badger Hopping Hare instead, possibly I made the wrong choice of beer. Possibly I used to much beer .
    They were good , but I like Thatchers Katy cider Mussles more. I only put a good glug of cider in. Our local mussles are not strong in taste.
    I had some from Mussles Northumberland once (thats what the waiter said), they had maximum flavour. Also I found Cornish Fowey mussels are prety good.

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    Reply Anonymouse October 24, 2011 at 11:07 am

    The Mussels I pick, have become really good . The last batch were really nice.

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    Reply Brown November 25, 2011 at 10:59 am

    going to try this tomorrow as long as I Sopers haven’t sold out of mussels like last week

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      Reply Helen November 25, 2011 at 11:44 am

      If they have, why not just walk up to East Dulwich? There’s a van on North Cross road and also the fishmonger on lordship lane.

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    Reply Anonymouse March 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Got some Brewdog at last, back to the beach for more mussels

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