Mussel and Onion Stew
Mussels fresh from the rocks of the West Country make this substantial stew an unusual main course.
2 Kilogram Fresh mussels (4 1/2 lb)
150 ml Dry white wine ( 1/4 pint)
25 Gram Butter (1 oz)
2 Large Onions, chopped
25 Gram Plain flour (1 oz)
300 ml Milk ( 1/2 pint)
2 Tablespoon Fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoon Single cream
Wash the mussels thoroughly under running cold water, then scrape off any barnacles with a small, sharp knife. Cut off the fibrous beards that protrude from between the shells. Wash in several changes of water. Discard any that are or do not close when tapped sharply with a knife.
Put the wine in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the mussels, cover and cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes or until the mussels open, shaking the pan occasionally. Discard any mussels that have not opened. Drain the mussels, reserving the juice. Remove the mussels from the shells.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and lightly fry the onions for 5 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk and the mussel cooking liquid, stirring, until the sauce thickens, boils and is smooth. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Return the mussels to the pan with the parsley and cream. Reheat gently. Serve with crusty bread.