Friday, 6 October 2017

Scottish Mussels with Cider and Venison Chorizo

Post in Collaboration with Scottish Shellfish

Scottish Mussels combine with Cider from Angus and Wild Venison Chorizo from the Highlands to create a mouthwatering dish of Moules in celebration of Seafood Week. Quick and easy to cook and surprisingly cheap there's no need to be scared of preparing, cooking and eating Mussels at home. 


Having been commissioned in 2016 to develop a recipe using Mussels to celebrate Seafood Week I was delighted to be approached again by the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group for 2017. But how could I top last year's effort of Moules Écosse - Scottish Gin & Tonic Mussels? The answer had to be to combine my favourite shellfish with two more fantastic products from Scotland's Larder. Apples from Angus and Wild Scottish Venison from the Highlands. I reached out to two wonderful Scottish producers for my recipe. Cider Bothy and Great Glen Charcuterie. Combining their products with Shetland Mussels produced a dish that's most definitely worthy of celebrating Day Two of Seafood Week 2017 which focuses on the mighty mussel.


Cider Bothy is the sister company to the fantastic Gin Bothy who I visited on my recent press trip for a Wee taste of Angus and it's Larder. Owner Kim was firstly an accidental Gin maker and is now also an accidental Cider maker! When sourcing local fruits for use in her infused gins she often came across the response of 'we don't have rhubarb/raspberries/strawberries but we do have lots of apples'. Hence the birth of Cider Bothy. 100% local and natural with both still and sparkling variants. 
Great Glen Charcuterie based in the Highlands use sustainably sourced local wild venison from the surrounding area to produce their range of award winning Charcuterie. I've been a long time fan of their products and have met owner Anja an her family at a number of markets and events over the years. For this recipe I used their Venison and Pork Chorizo which works particularly well in cooking as it has a higher fat content that their pure venison chorizos. 


Many of us love to eat Mussels when dining out but are more wary of cooking them at home thinking they are fiddly to clean and dangerous to eat. There is really nothing to be scared of as long as you follow the 4 simple steps below you really can't go wrong. With their plump and sweet tasting flesh they are one of the best and most affordable Scottish shellfish out there. The old myth about only eating mussels ‘when there is an ‘R’ in the month’ is incorrect and they are perfect to enjoy any day of the year.
  1. Store mussels in a bowl, covered with a damp cloth, in the bottom of the fridge. Apart from when cleaning, don't store or submerge the mussels in water or you'll drown them. 
  2. Sort through the mussels to check that they are all closed. Give any that aren’t a gentle tap on a surface to see if they close shut. Discard those that don’t close, along with any that are cracked or damaged. 
  3. Scrub the mussels well with a stiff brush under cold, running water and use the back of a knife to remove any barnacles. Pull away any tendrils or ‘beards’ from the sides of the shells. Rinse well again. 
  4. Cook the mussels according to your recipe and discard any shells that have not opened up.

Scottish Mussels with Cider and Venison Chorizo
(Serves 4 as a Starter or 2 as a Main Course)

For the full Eat Scottish experience I used Cider Bothy Sparkling Cider and Great Glen Charcuterie Venison & Pork Chorizo.

Ingredients
25g Salted Butter 
4 Shallots, finely sliced
2 large Garlic Cloves, crushed 
60g Chorizo, peeled and sliced 
500ml Cider 
1.5 kg Scottish Mussels 
1 handful Flatleaf Parsley, chopped 
Salt & Pepper 
Double Cream/Crème Fraiche - optional

Method
  1. Wash the mussels under cold running water and pull out any beards. If any are open, give them a wee tap to see if they will close shut. Discard those that don’t close, along with any that are cracked or damaged.
  2. Melt the butter in a large heavy based pan. (Make sure it's one that you have a well-fitting lid for) 
  3. Gently fry the finely sliced shallots until soft. 
  4. Add the crushed garlic and sliced Chorizo and cook for a couple of minutes more.
  5. Turn up the heat and pour in the Cider. When it comes to the boil add the mussels. 
  6. Cover with the lid, turn down the heat and simmer for four or five minutes, occasionally shaking the pan, until all of the mussels are opened. 
  7. Add the cream (if desired) and parsley and season with freshly ground salt and pepper. 
  8. Serve with plenty of crusty bread to mop up all the juices.

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www.foodiequine.co.uk Scottish Mussels combine with Cider from Angus and Wild Venison Chorizo from the Highlands to create a mouthwatering dish of Moules in celebration of Seafood Week. Quick and easy to cook and surprisingly cheap there's no need to be scared of preparing, cooking and eating Mussels at home.


Disclosure: This is a commissioned post for Scottish Shellfish. As always, all views expressed are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me as a passionate Scottish Food Blogger to continue to share my Edible Food and Travel Adventures with you. I’m super choosy who I work with and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop.

14 comments :

  1. I have to make these! I am not sure I can find those exact brands here in the states, but we do have some local dried sausages and ciders that can stand in. Great inspiration!

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    1. Keep it local whatever part of the world you are in and you can't go far wrong.

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  2. Those mussels look really plump and tasty! Such a lovely dish to create with Scottish produce.

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    1. There were some real fat juicy beauties in these nets.

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  3. What a completely flavorful dish! I will have to search for some great mussels.

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    1. Clearly I'm biased but I suggest you search for Scottish ones.

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  4. Oh my goodnesss does this cider sound out of the world good. Can't wait to try

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    1. It's really lovely and 100% natural and full of flavour.

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  5. Those muscles look incredible and I LOVE your flavour combos!

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    1. Those big fat juicy dark orange ones were amazing - orange meat is found in the shell of a mature female mussel, whilst the pale cream meat mussels are males or immature females.

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  6. I must say, this combination really calls to me, the meaty spice of the chorizo against those sweet plump mussels and then the cider too? YES PLEASE

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    1. Definitely a match made in heaven - or as we like to call it Scotland! ;-)

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  7. This is a truly luxurious dish yet is simple to make and doesn't involve a long list of ingredients. Great recipe! Thank you for bringing it to #CookBlogShare:)

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    1. They are not called the poor man's oyster for nothing! (I actually prefer them)

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