Beer Mussels

Beer Mussels, but not the bar fight defend-a-lady's-honor kind

Beer Mussels, but not the bar-fight-to-defend-a-lady's-honor kind.

This recipe is a lot easier than it tastes; the most difficult part is waiting for the mussels to soak. Great for feeding friends with a comforting bistro fare. Black eyes and hangovers optional.

Equipment Needed: Stove, 5 Qt. Pot, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc

Suggested Beer Pairing: Belgian Whites, Heffewiesen, Lager


  • 1lb bag of mussels ($5.99)
  • 1 medium onion ($.99/lb)
  • 2 small shallots ($2.99/lb)
  • 3 cloves of garlic ($2.99 lb)
  • 3 TBSP unsalted butter ($4.99/lb package)
  • 12 oz beer (price varies)
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • Sort through mussels and throw away any that are visibly broken or are open. These guys are dead and will make you what is technically known as mucho sicko.
  • Soak the remaining mussels in cold water for 20 minutes to allow them to filter out any remaining sea grit.
  • Mince the garlic, shallots and onions and set aside.
  • Once the mussels have finished soaking you have to remove the “beards,” aka byssal threads (there, you just got a biology lesson). These look like hairballs that stick out of the side of the mussel, and must be taken out by pulling them down towards the hinge. Don’t pull them up because you’ll run the risk of pulling some of the actual mussel out as well; this could kill it before you cook it which, in this case, is a bad thing (see “mucho sicko”). Give them a final rinse under running water and be sure to get any remaining gunk off the shell.
Pull the beard out down towards the hinge.

Pull the beard out down towards the hinge.

  • In a large pot over medium heat throw in the butter and minced veggies. Once they’ve cooked down and are soft, throw (not literally) the mussels in and pour your beer in.
The beer should cover about half the mussels.

The beer should cover about half the mussels.

  • Cover the mix and cook it until the majority of the mussels steam open (some won’t because they’re dead; again, no eating, mucho sicko). This should take around 5 minutes. Serve in a large bowl with plenty of good bread to soak up the juice.

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