Weekend Recipe: Oven-Steamed Mussels with Hard Cider and Bacon

Photo courtesy of Cook's Illustrated
Photo courtesy of Cook's Illustrated

You might have a lot of practice steaming mussels in a pot, but have you tried cooking them in the oven? Cook's Illustrated says using a large roasting pan cooks the bivalves more evenly and prevents overcooking. Serve the mussels with crusty bread. Enjoy!

Oven-Steamed Mussels with Hard Cider and Bacon
Serves 4

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup dry hard cider
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

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Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Heat oil and bacon in large roasting pan over medium heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon has rendered and is starting to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add cider, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves and bring to boil. Cook until cider is slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Add mussels and salt. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil and transfer to oven. Cook until most mussels have opened (a few may remain closed), 15 to 18 minutes.

Remove pan from oven. Push mussels to sides of pan. Add cream to center and whisk until incorporated. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves, sprinkle parsley over mussels, and toss to combine. Serve immediately.


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