Mussels With Leeks, Smoky Bacon and English Cider

The tail end of winter can be depressingly grey. However, with the earth slowly warming up there’s an array of beautiful vibrant coloured foods available such as mussels and leeks  to provide a gentle reminder that spring is on its way. Warm up from the inside and try this recipe to put a smile on your face.

Serves: 2


  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 100 g Smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 250 ml Cider (e.g. Aspall)
  • 100 ml Double cream
  • Fresh horseradish
  • Handful of chopped parsley and chives
  • Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 750 g Mussels in shell, cleaned
  • 25 ml Rapeseed oil
  • 1 Leek, washed and sliced
  • 1 Clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 Small banana shallot, finely diced


Thoroughly wash the mussels, remove the beards and discard any that are heavy, broken or that remain open when tapped.

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion, bacon, and leek with the bay leaf and garlic.

Add the cider to the pan and bring it to a gentle boil. Add the mussels, cover the pan tightly with a lid and steam for 2 minutes, or until the mussel shells start to open. Add the cream, bring to the boil and remove from the heat. (Discard any mussels whose shells remain closed).

When ready, toss in the chopped herbs; serve in two warmed bowls and grate over fresh horseradish to taste, serve with plenty of fresh crusty bread.

Recipe and image courtesy of Madalene Bonvini-Hamel of British Larder . Madalene has teamed up with CSMA Club to produce a handy calendar which you can download and pin up in your kitchen for more hints and tips on seasonal cooking.

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