There’s something comforting about a bowl of steamed mussels served in a flavorful sauce with plenty of crusty bread. Although most steamed mussels call for white wine, I’ve seen a few recipes that use beer. I love to experiment in the kitchen, so I decided to get creative and develop my own beer-steamed mussels recipe.
Some people find cooking mussels intimidating because of the cleaning and debearding process, but I encourage you to put away those fears. Most mussels are farmed, which means they’re already debearded and cleaned. While I prep the other ingredients, I like to let my mussels soak in cold water for about 20 minutes to remove any lingering grit, and it does the trick.
For this recipe, I went with a pilsner, specifically Pils from Prost Brewing in Denver. This beer complemented the dish perfectly as it added enough of a beer kick without overwhelming the delicate mussels. As a bonus, Pils made for a nice sipper with this dish. The crispness cut through the fatty chorizo and cleansed the palate to allow the mussels to shine. Honestly, pilsner isn’t a style I usually favor, but it worked out nicely with this meal.
Spicy Beer-Steamed Mussels
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 pound chorizo
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
2 shakes of cayenne
3 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces pilsner
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
- Rinse mussels in a colander and then soak in cold water for about 20 minutes. If any mussels are open, tap on counter. If they don’t close, throw them away.
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add chorizo and onions and cook until chorizo is well-browned and onions soften. Use a wooden spoon to break up chorizo while it cooks.
- Add tomato paste, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne and garlic and stir frequently for two minutes.
- Pour in the pilsner, diced tomatoes, chicken stock and lime juice and stir to combine.
- Increase heat to medium-high, add mussels and cover for two minutes. Uncover and give the mussels a stir. Cover the mussels again and steam for another three minutes. Mussels are done when they open.
- Once mussels are done, turn off heat and stir in fresh cilantro and butter. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired and serve immediately with crusty bread for dipping.