Cornish Cast Iron Mussels

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Hayley Bisofsky Pope
Cornwall dweller, lifestyle blogger and founder of The Little Naturalists Club
6 March 2023

There's nothing quite like sharing a huge bowl of mussels cooked over a fire on the beach.

It’s even better when those mussels have been foraged as a family effort, and both little and large hands have played a part in pulling the meal together. This delectable recipe using your own favourite Cornish cider and heavy cream is sure to be memorable.

You'll need:

1kg of freshly foraged mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded

3 x cloves of minced garlic

1 x chopped white onion

1/2 a bunch of flat leaf parsley 

A pack of pancetta or smoked streaky bacon

150ml of your favourite Cornish cider

100ml of double cream

Olive oil

Chilli flakes and pepper to taste 

To prepare:

  1. Place the pancetta in a hot, dry, heavy bottomed pan or cast iron pan if you’re working over a fire, and cook until crispy.
  2. Remove the pancetta and place in a separate bowl, ensuring to leave the fat behind in the pan.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the pancetta fat and cook until softened, slightly brown.
  4. Add in the herbs. 
  5. Check the mussels and discard any that are opened and remain opened when you give them a little tap with a stone or the back of your knife – these ones are likely dead.
  6. Add the mussels to the pan along with the cider, pepper and pinch of chilli.
  7. Cover with a lid and leave them for 4-5mins until they are all open. 
  8. Pour in the cream and pancetta bits and give the pan the occasional shake. 
  9. Serve with some fresh herbs sprinkled over the top and a chunky ciabatta on the side.
  10. No cutlery needed, just use an empty shell to pinch the mussel meat out and enjoy!