Moules frites is a serious classic in Belgian and French bistros, and for good reason: Mussels and crispy fries go together like chicken and grits, spaghetti and meatballs, ebony and ivory — well, you get the idea.
The moules part — the mussels — are easy to make. The key is to clean these bivalves thoroughly. Plunge them in cool water and then remove the beards — those stringy, fuzzy bits attached to the shells — then run under cool water for good measure. Nothing ruins a big bowl o’ mussels faster than the crunch of grit between your teeth.
If you don’t have a fryer, don’t despair; the main point of frites here is to dip in the briny, beer-soaked juices of the moules, so our baked French fries recipe should do the trick. Sopping up can get especially tasty if you trick out your mussels with bacon!
- 6 dozen mussels, cleaned and de-bearded (scrubbed and remove the fuzzy part)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, for cooking
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1 beer, we recommend a wheat beer
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a large pot over medium to high heat add the butter. Saute the shallots and garlic until soft.
- Add the beer and bring to a simmer.
- Add the cleaned mussels and cover. Steam until the mussels are open, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the herbs and season the broth with salt and pepper. Serve with French fries.