Last week, I had the fortune of spending dawn on a mussel boat in Port Lincoln with my mate Andrew ‘Pugs’ Puglisi. Pugs has a fleet of mussel vessels in the region, which produces some of Australia’s best bivalves, bar none. So what does a mussel farmer do with mussels? The answer is not much. With produce this good, you hardly need to do a thing…and given how time poor life can be, those kinds of recipes ain’t a bad thing. Here is Pugs’ recipe for pot ’o’ mussels…just add a side of crusty bread and a little butter and you’re winning.
2kg live mussels, debearded and cleaned
1 bunch continental parsley, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 small bunch thyme, leaves removed and finely chopped
1 cup water
1 cup white wine
50ml extra virgin olive oil
In a large pot on a medium heat, pour in the water and cover the lid until it starts to simmer. Once simmering, add the mussels and place the lid back on top. Periodically give the pot a little shake to circulate the heat, which will help the shells open. After about 5 minutes, open the lid and start removing the mussels that have opened. Once most of the mussels have steamed open, place the mussels along with their liquid in a bowl and set aside. In the same pot, pour in the olive oil, butter and garlic. Gently sauté the garlic until it becomes soft and slightly translucent. Pour in the wine, thyme leaves, most of the parsley and finally the mussels along with their liquid. Toss to combine and stir until the mussels have reheated. Serve in the pot with a little more parsley on top, along with a chuck of sourdough.