Beer mussels. Not to be confused with beer muscles, however, these beer steamed mussels may give you beer muscles. You follow?
Steamed mussels are the perfect easy summer appetizer. Patty and I like to steam up a batch on weekends and sit outside on our deck and enjoy with even more beer.
The best part? steamed mussels are super simple and incredibly flavorful. Cooking mussels may sound intimidating, but the prep takes longer than the actual steaming. Done in 5 minutes. Mussels can be steamed in a creamy wine sauce, spicy arrabbiata sauce, or the best of all…BEER, spices, and BACON.
How to Clean Mussels
Before you cook mussels, you want to rinse the shells in cool water to remove any sand (otherwise, it ends up on your plate). This is a good time to discard any mussels that remain open or don’t shut. These are dead.
Lastly, you want to remove any thread-like ‘beard’ protruding from the shell. Grab hold and rip it out. Some are in there tight so give it a good tug. Not all mussels will have them so skip any that don’t.
How to Steam Mussels in Beer (Or Anything)
I’ll break it down in three easy steps.
- Rinse mussels under cool water, removing beards and discarding any that do not fully shut on their own (these are dead).
- Place in a covered saucepan with beer, garlic, onion, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, butter, and a pinch of paprika (If adding bacon or pancetta we’ll simmer this first to fully cook).
- Cover and steam for 5 minutes until mussel shells open up.
Easy and delicious. The mussels will pick up the subtle flavors of beer, garlic, bacon and spices by steaming and soaking in the beer broth. We also like to serve up with some buttered, toasted french bread. Dipping in the garlicky broth at the end is HEAVEN.
What Beer Should I Use?
I’m an NEIPA guy but you can use any beer you like. The beer flavor is subtle, however a nice blonde, wheat, or pale ale is a great place to start. If you like hoppy beers, I recommend trying a New England style IPA. It will give you more citrusy, juicy flavor. If all else fails, sure, throw in a Bud Light.
If you don’t like beer you can substitute with water or even white wine.
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My steamed mussels are steamed with chopped bacon, beer, garlic, onion, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, butter, and a pinch of paprika. A delicious and easy way to steam mussels.
- 2 pounds mussels, rinsed and beards removed
- 2 cups beer of choice (blonde ale, pale ale, or NEIPA)
- 3 strips thick-cut bacon or pancetta, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- pinch of paprika
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Dash crushed red pepper flakes
- Rinse mussels under cool water, removing beards while discarding any that do not fully shut on their own (these are dead).
- In a large covered saucepan on medium-low heat, cook bacon/pancetta until browned, 3-4 minutes. Do not discard bacon fat. Add garlic, onion, butter, paprika, and crushed red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and cook until onion is tender. About 2 minutes.
- Add beer and mussels. Stir, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes until shells open up. Garnish with chopped parsley, stir, and serve immediately in a bowl with beer broth. Serve with toasted french bread for dipping.
If you don’t have beer this can also be made with white wine or water.
- Serving Size: 1/2-1 lb (about 20 mussels)
- Calories: 411
- Sugar: 0.9g
- Sodium: 927mg
- Fat: 14.6g
- Saturated Fat: 6.2g
- Carbohydrates: 20.2g
- Fiber: 1.1g
- Protein: 37.3g
- Cholesterol: 105mg
Keywords: steamed mussels in beer, how to steam mussels, steamed mussels