Main Meals

Mussels, leeks and bacon

25 minutes
10 minutes
Wine/Spirit Pairing
Newton Johnson Felicité Pinot Noir 2015

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  • 250 g fresh mussels
  • 1½ cups white wine
  • 2 leeks, washed and cut into 4 cm pieces
  • 2 T butter
  • 100 g pancetta, cut into medium lardons
  • 2 T parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 slices sourdough bread, cut in half and shallow-fried in olive oil

Steam the mussels in 1 cup white wine until they open, strain off the liquor and set the liquor aside. Allow the mussels to cool, then remove from the shells.

Strain the liquor through muslin or mutton cloth. Meanwhile, braise the leeks in the butter and remaining white wine until completely soft.

Cook the pancetta in a medium-sized, heavy-based pan until browned. Strain off any excess fat. Add the leeks and mussel liquor and a splash of water if the broth is too salty. Cook until the liquor is reduced by about half. Add the mussels, a healthy tablespoon of butter and the parsley.

Keep moving the pan around gently so the butter emulsifies into the liquor, check the seasoning, finish with a squeeze of lemon and divide equally on top of the sourdough “croutons”. The idea is the bread will soak up all the juices and be a delightful surprise at the end.

Discover more French-inspired recipes here.

Giles Edwards

Recipe by: Giles Edwards

Giles Edwards is the chef-patron of La Tete restaurant in Cape Town.

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