Steamed Mussels In White Wine Sauce


6lbs mussels, scrubbed and rinsed
1 cup dry white wine
3 shallots
1 clove finely minced garlic
3 tbs chopped fresh parsley
4 tbs butter


Put the wine, shallots, and garlic into a deep stock pot and simmer, coverd, over low heat for five minutes.

Add the mussels all at once and cover, raising the heat to high. Boil for two minutes and, using a pot holder or towel to secure the lid, shake the post to redistribute the mussels in the broth. Steam for 2 more minutes, then check to see if most of the mussels are open. Cook two minutes more, if you think it's needed. Try to keep the cooking to 4 to 6 minutes. Some sources recommend 10 minutes for safety, but this will generally result in over-cooked mussels.

Remove the mussels from the pot, and put them into a large serving bowl, or individual serving bowls, depending on how you are serving them. Leave the broth behind. Check any unopened mussels with a knife, away from the other mussels. If they are full of mud or otherwise look or smell wrong, discard them.

Check the broth that you left in the pot for grit, which will have settled to the bottom of the pan, if present. Grit is unlikely, unless your mussels were wild caught or you didn't clean them properly. If there is grit, carefully pour the liquid into a sauce pan, leaving any grit in the bottom of the pan. Add the butter to the broth and boil, stirring, until thickened a little. Pour the broth over the mussels and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately with crusty slices of bread, preferable grilled for a smoky taste.

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