Moules à la Normande


  • Serves 4 people

  • 1 kg Sebago potatoes, peeled, cut into 1cm-thick batons and soaked in cold water
  • For deep frying: vegetable oil
  • 4 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 kg black mussels, beards removed and scrubbed
  • 200 gm small button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 355 ml cider
  • 200 gm crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • To serve: crusty baguette
  • Beurre d’escargot
  • 125 gm unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
01   For beurre d’escargot, combine all ingredients and season to taste. Set aside.
02   Drain potatoes and pat dry. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or saucepan to 140C. Add half the potato, cook until tender (3-5 minutes), drain on absorbent paper, repeat with remaining potato. Set aside. Increase heat to 180C.
03   Melt beurre d’escargot in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add shallot and herbs and cook over medium heat until shallot is soft (5-7 minutes). Add mussels, mushrooms and cider, cover, increase heat to high, shaking pot to distribute mussels evenly. Cook until mussels open (3-5 minutes), discarding any that haven’t opened, use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl and keep warm. Bring pan juices to the boil and cook until reduced by a third (5-7 minutes). Remove from heat, whisk in crème fraîche and season to taste.
04   Deep-fry potato until golden (3-5 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper and season to taste with sea salt. Spoon mussels into dishes, ladle over cooking liquid and scatter with parsley, Serve with chips and baguette, if desired.
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