Why I love these Belgian beer steamed mussels
I’ve always been a fan of mussels, but it wasn’t until I we lived in France that I moules frites. I instantly fell in love and ate them every chance I got (when I wasn’t indulging in beef tartare).
Traditional moules marinières is made with white wine, but when I traveled to Belgium, I tried some steamed in beer that were out-of-this-world fantastic.
I’ve been making them with beer ever since, and this is how is exactly how I do it.
P.S. It’s super easy and require more time to clean the mussels than it actually does to cook them.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
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Ingredients & substitutions
- Belgian beer
- Shallots – If you don’t have shallots, you could use a sweet onion in its place, but I really suggest grabbing the shallots because they have such great flavor.
- Fresh herbs – I normally use a bit of fresh thyme and a big heap of fresh parsley for my mussels. Tarragon or bay leaf would also be great in this recipe.
How to make beer steamed mussels
Clean the mussels. This is the most tedious part of mussels preparation. I like to use my potato brush to the shells Make sure to scrub any debris or barnacles from the shells. While I’m doing this I also make sure to remove any beards from the mussels.
To de-beard the mussels, you just need to pull them out, but I find that it’s hard to get a grip, especially if the mussels are wet. Using a washcloth or paper towel to help grab it makes a huge difference, but I prefer a cloth because it won’t fall apart through the process.
Discard any mussels with cracked shells or ones that don’t close when tapped.
Simmer the aromatics until fragrant, about a minute. Then, pour in a bottle of Belgian beer.
Simmer the mussels. When the beer starts to simmer, add the mussels and cover the pot. Let them cook until the shells open up. This usually takes about 5 – 7 minutes.
Garnish and serve. Stir in the fresh parsley just before serving. Then, scoop the mussels into bowls and ladle some broth over them.
Everything you need to know about steamed mussels
Mussels have a long standing history in Belgian cuisine. The ample supply of mussels in the region, as well as being an inexpensive seafood is what gave the food such popularity. You can expect to find these beer steamed mussels on the menu at many establishments in the area.
We used Leffe blonde beer for this recipe.You want a flavorful beer with a light hop profile. Nothing too sweet. Most Belgian blondes should work
Steaming mussels is the best way to ensure their delicate texture does not get too tough. Bring the liquids up to a simmer, then add the mussels to allow the steam to do its work with the heat reduced.
Steaming mussels should only take about 5 – 7 minutes.
No. You don’t need to sake mussels in water before steaming them.
Mussels are cooked when their shells are fully open. If a mussel doesn’t open when cooking, you should discard it.
Yes. You should scrub the shells and de-beard the mussels before cooking them.
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- 2 – 3 pounds mussels
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dairy free butter
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 shallots, diced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 12 ounces Belgian beer
- Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven to medium. Add olive oil and butter.
- When the butter has melted, add shallots, garlic and fresh thyme. Sauté until fragrant.
- Add the beer and bring to a simmer.
- Drop in the mussels.
- Cover the pot and allow the mussels to steam for 5-7 minutes, or until the mussels have fully opened.
- Discard any unopened mussels and garnish with fresh parsley before serving
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Belgian
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 395
- Sugar: 7.6 g
- Sodium: 989.4 mg
- Fat: 14.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 21.8 g
- Fiber: 0.3 g
- Protein: 41.2 g
- Cholesterol: 95.4 mg
Keywords: belgian mussels, beer mussels, steamed mussels, steamed mussels recipe, mussels marinieres, moules marinières
Published: January 11, 2023. Updated: January 13, 2023.
This post contains affiliate links. I may earn commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. I will never recommend a product I don’t use or trust.