Ham gives a nice salty twist to mussels so be careful when adding any additional seasoning. We have lots of herbs growing in the garden at this time of year and are always looking for excuses to use them.
Wine Suggestion: This was an harder match than expected given the combination of salty sea flavours and the richness of the ham. Given the layers of savoury flavours we complemented this with a dry Amontillado sherry, the Hidalgo “Napoleon” which has the Umami richness to match. It also has a great nuttiness that added something extra and also a very complementary hint of fresh sea air in it’s flavour.
Mussels with Bayonne ham – 3-4
- 1.5kg mussels
- 100ml dry white wine
- 50g butter
- 1 shallot
- 75g Bayonne or prosciutto ham
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- 1 handful of mixed herbs – we used parsley, tarragon & chives
- crusty bread to serve
Scrub the mussels clean and discard any that don’t close when tapped on a hard surface.
Add 2 tbsp of the wine to a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the mussels, cover and cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes or until opened. Give the pan a shake every now and then and discard any mussels that remain closed. Take off the heat and strain in a colander over a large bowl to catch the liquid. Reserve the liquid and keep the mussels warm.
In the same pan, melt the butter and cook the shallot, ham and garlic for 4-5 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add the mussel cooking liquid and the rest of the wine wine. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Add the mussels and herbs and mix well, then season with black pepper.
(Original recipe by Rick Stein)