Our family tradition is to make Mussels on New Years Eve. It’s a fun meal to make, super easy, and man are mussels in broth good!
Farming mussels is a detailed process that requires year-round commitment, knowledge, and patience. The farmers collect mussel seeds in the wild, sort them, grade them, place them into socks, and then bring the mussels back to the water. Farmers maintain their mussels for over a year or so until they’ve grown to market size. Once harvested, they are stripped from their socks, de-clumped, cleaned, have their beards removed, and are visually inspected. All of this is done very gently to protect this live seafood.
Remove beards. beards are bits of kelp that the mussel clamped down on. Throw away any mussels that are open. Rinse with cold water.
Our PEI mussels come in 2 pound bags. This is a fun meal for 2-4 people.
Here’s a recipe for making really yummy Mussels in Broth:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cups white wine
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups drained canned tomatoes in thick puree, chopped (from one 28-ounce can)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
Salt, if needed
heat a deep stock pot with medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, and onion and cook until translucent but not caramelized. Deglaze with white wine and reduce a bit. Add chicken broth, canned tomatoes and spices. allow to simmer and get nice. Use fresh squeezed lemon to add acidity and brightness (do this to taste). Salt to taste. When broth is dialed in, add mussels to pot and cover with lid, cook until all mussels are open and fully cooked, usually this is about 5-10 minutes.
Serve mussels in a large bowl with broth, spoon out broth and mussels to individual bowls. Use lots of toasted bread to soak up broth!