250ml Sheppys Vintage Cider
1.2kg Mussels, cleaned and debearded
100g Smoked streaky bacon, chopped
2 small shallots/1 large shallot, finely diced
2 tbsp sage, finely chopped
50ml double cream
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Dash of olive oil
1. Clean the mussels by removing any barnacles from the shells, removing the beards and swilling in water until the water runs clear. Tap any mussels that are open on the hinge to see if they close. If they remain open, discard them, as they are not alive. Also, remove any with cracked shells.
2. Put the olive into a large pan and heat on a medium-high heat. Add the bacon and fry until the fat has rendered down and the bacon has browned and is crispy.
3. Turn the heat down to a low to medium heat, add the sage and shallots and gently sweat for a few minutes until they translucent. Then add the garlic for a couple of minutes.
4. Turn the heat up high and add the cider and bring it up to a rolling boil, then add the mussels straightaway.
5. Place a lid on the pan and leave the heat on high. Keep shaking the pan to move the mussels around to ensure even cooking.
6. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until all the mussels have opened. Remove the mussels from the pan with a slotted spoon to a clean dish, throwing away any that remain closed. Place the lid of the pan over them to keep them warm.
7. Keep the heat high under the pan, add the cream and reduce for a couple of minutes, season with a twist of pepper and then pour the liquor over the mussels. Leave the last few tablespoons in the bottom of the pan in case it has some grit in it.
8. Serve with some delicious bread to mop up the delicious creamy, salty cider broth!