Mussels steamed in Wittekerke Wheat Beer

Mussels steamed in Wittekerke Wheat Beer
Courtesy of Chef Anthony Seminatore, Ballantine

This dish will be featured on the fall menu at Ballantine, the new gastropub in Willoughby.

6 pounds cleaned and de-bearded fresh mussels
10 shallots
2 stalks of celery
2 small red or sweet onions
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 stick (1/4 lb) pound unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic
1 small bunch of chopped flat leaf parsley
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups chicken stock
12 ounces of clam juice
1 bottle Wittekerke or other Belgian White Beer

1. Coarsely chop shallots, onions and celery. Finely chop garlic and parsley; tear basil into large pieces.

2. Melt butter at a low heat in a large pot. Add shallots, onions and celery. Simmer until soft. Add the rest of the ingredients — except for the mussels and the beer — and bring to a gentle boil.

3. Add mussels. When they begin opening in a minute or two, add the beer and stir thoroughly. Steam uncovered until mussels are open (discard all that don't open in 3-4 minutes).

4. Do not overcook. Mussels should be plump and not shrunken.

5. Serve in broad bowls with torn chunks of French bread for soaking up juice.

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