Paleo Mussels in White Wine (Moules Marinière)
Moules marinière is such an easy and quick dish to make. It may sound intimidating to make shellfish at home, but believe me, it is so easy! This is a fun recipe to make on the weekends and can be awesome for a casual, yet sophisticated dinner party.
There are many different ways to eat mussels, but my favorite is this simple version steamed in white wine. It’s crisp, packed with flavor, and oh-so satisfying. No matter whether I’m eating them in a local restaurant here in the Netherlands, a little cafe in France, or a corner pub in Belgium, this style never disappoints.
There are a few tips I have when it comes to cooking mussels:
- Make sure you clean them well. Most mussels sold for consumption are actually farm-raised instead of wild, which is completely fine. They actually have much less debris in them, so they are easier to clean. Generally, all you need to do with each one is remove the beard if it is visible by wiggling and tearing off in the direction of the hinge using your fingers, then rinse well under cold water while scrubbing with a brush. You can use a seafood brush if you have one, but I just use a firm toothbrush.
- Discard any mussels that are broken. Also discard any mussels that are open and do not close when tapped. You only want to cook live mussels.
- Make sure you don’t overcook the mussels. They will become dry and stick to the shells. Not so appetizing. If you take the lid off after 5 minutes of steaming and only a few mussels have opened up, replace the lid and steam for another minute or two. Your heat was probably not quite high enough.
- Discard any mussels that do not open while cooking. Those were likely dead before cooking.
Oh, and did I mention that the broth is delicious? Definitely don’t discard the broth. You can thank me later. Traditionally, this dish is served with a baguette, french fries (moules-frites), or both. It’s nice to have something to soak up all the delicious juices. To keep it paleo, I like to just eat little spoonfuls of the broth while eating the mussels. But if you’re feeling ambitious, then I definitely recommend serving with a fresh loaf of paleo bread! Yum!
- 3 lbs fresh mussels
- 3 Tbsp grassfed butter or ghee
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- lemon wedges for serving
- Clean the mussels by rinsing under cold water, scrubbing, and removing the beards.
- Discard any mussels with broken shells or ones that are open and do not close their shells when tapped.
- Set aside in a colander.
- Melt butter or ghee in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add shallots to the pot and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add garlic and cook for 2 minute, stirring occasionally. You want to let the shallots and garlic cook down a bit without browning. If they are starting to brown just turn down the temperature a bit.
- Add white wine, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Pour yourself a glass of wine while you're waiting 😉
- Add the mussels to the pot, stir, and cover with a lid. Steam the mussels for about 5 minutes (until the mussels open), shaking the pot every few minutes to prevent the mussels at the bottom from overcooking.
- Remove the mussels with a slotted spoon or ladle.
- Discard any that did not open.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with the cooking broth and lemon wedges.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! I’d love to hear from you in the comments section of this post!