Fish of the month
Westcountry Fowey Mussels, Seaweed and Smoked Bacon Broth
We have chosen this dish to highlight the incredible work of Westcountry Mussels who produce a truly sustainable supply of Fowey Mussels: Their farming site in St Austell Bay has become packed with fish where there were none before, acting as a natural sanctuary giving shelter to large shoals of fish of every description as well as dolphins and rare seabirds. All attracted by the abundance of food that the mussel farm attracts, this is a glimpse of the perfect eco system between nature and a commercial enterprise- more than just sustainable, actually enriching the environment.
1kg Westcountry Fowey Mussels cleaned and washed with beard removed.
1 tbsp. Cornish Seaweed Company Seaweed - Use either their “Organic Mixed Seaweed Flakes” or “Organic Sea Salad”
3 Rashers Smoked Streaky Bacon
1 Banana Shallot, diced thin
Half a small Carrot, diced thin
Half a stick of Celery, diced thin
Half a Leek, diced thin
1 Clove of garlic, crushed
200ml Local Cider
50-100g Organic Local Butter (amount down to preference - British rapeseed oil is another alternative)
Small handful of fresh Parsley, chopped
Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black pepper to taste
Optional addition: Splash Organic Double Cream
First check the mussels - Discard them if there are any wide open that do not close after being washed as they are dead and mussels need to be cooked from alive.
Grill the bacon until fat is rendered and meat is just crispy and set aside, keeping the now liquid fat. When cool, chop coarsely. Place the diced shallots, carrot, celery, leek, crushed garlic and butter in a wide saucepan. Sweat down on a medium heat. Once these vegetables are soft, turn up the heat and add the mussels along with the cider, cooked bacon with fat and the seaweed salad. Place a tightly fitted lid on the pan to ensure the mussels steam- this will take around 3 - 4 minutes. Once all the mussels have opened, give the pan a good shake and steam for a further 1 minute. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon into your serving bowls. Place the liquid in the pan back on the heat, with the splash of cream if desired and bring to the boil. Reduce for 1 minute, then remove from the heat, taste the broth and season with the pepper and sea salt to taste. Now stir in the chopped parsley, pour the finished liquor over the mussels and serve with crusty bread or chips for dipping.