We had a good 1/3 of a growler left of Victory's Helios Saison and no real designs on drinking the rest over the weekend (especially because other household half got his own growler filled with a double IPA), so I put it to good use in service of a batch of mussels. It made for a sensational broth, spiked with sea liquor and saison spice. Paired with the last bit of Helios from the bottom of the growler and crusty rustic bread, it was a fantastic, summery dinner.
Makes 2 servings
*2 lb bag of mussels
*2 tablespoons butter
*1/2 onion or a small shallot, minced
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*A pinch of red pepper flakes
*A couple sprigs of thyme
*1/2 lemon, juiced
*15-20 oz saison-style beer (For local folk, the aforementioned Helios is a solid saison and pretty inexpensive for a bomber/growler)
*A handful of parsley, chopped
*Lots of crusty bread, preferably toasted and rubbed with garlic
Clean and debeard the mussels (instructions here), making absolutely sure to discard ones with broken shells, or that are gaping open and don't close when tapped or under running water.
Melt the butter in a large pot, and add the minced shallot and garlic when it starts to foam. Saute for a couple minutes and then add the thyme, pepper flakes, and a good spangling of S&P, followed by the saison and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, add the mussels, cover, and then lower heat to a simmer for about 5 minutes or until the mussels have opened (it helps to shake the pot a few times throughout the simmer to move everything around). Discard any mussels that still have their trap shut, and ladle the lot into deep bowls with plenty of the delicious broth. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the mussels and serve with warm, crusty bread and lemon slices.
Bonus recipe - Any leftover broth in the pot? Add a bit of butter and reduce it down until thickened, and then use it to dress fettuccine or spaghetti, with some cut-up cherry tomatoes and lots of parsley (add mussels or bay scallops to make it even better).