Mussels steamed with fennel and lovage by James Lowe

"I love cooking mussels, it’s such a quick meal. It’s nice to be able to eat with your hands and the broth tastes fantastic. Mussel cooking liquid is better than a fish stock by a mile and the sweet and sour that comes from the cider combined with the flavour enhancing aniseed from fennel is a winner."


James Lowe, @flor.london @lyleslondon

Ingredients

  • Diced fennel x 1
  • Diced shallot x 1
  • Lovage x 8 leaves (sub. chervil or parsley)
  • Butter x 50g
  • Cider x 300ml
  • Mussels x 800g
  • Lemon x 1

Method

Start by sweating finely diced shallots and fennel with 50g butter. Add a pinch of salt and put the lid on. The liquid released by the vegetables will help them cook nice and evenly when the lid is on.

After 2 minutes add the cider and turn the heat up.

Bring to boil and allow to cook for 30 seconds.

Add the 100g diced butter and whisk in.

Once emulsified, add the mussels, stir, and put the lid back on.

Leave for 1 minute, then remove the lid and stir regularly until you can see that all the mussels have opened.

Check the sauce for salt and maybe squeeze in half a lemon worth of juice.