This classic treatment of mussels is easy to do, you just need a large enough pan and the patience to clean all the mussels.


·         1 kg of mussels per person*
·         50 gm chopped onions
·         2 finely chopped shallots
·         100 gm chopped parsley
·         275 ml white wine
·         Black pepper
·         100 gm butter cut into small cubes
·         Juice of ½ lemon

* This may seem a lot of mussels; it depends what you are serving with them. But 1 kg soon disappears.


1. Clean all the mussels, removing beards and barnacles, and wash in several changes of cold water.

2. Put all the mussels in a very large pan with the onion, shallots, parsley, wine and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.

3. Add half the butter, and put the pan over a medium-high heat and put the lid on. From time to time shake the pan to ensure even cooking.

4. The mussels are cooked when their shells open. Remove them from a pan into a warmed serving dish and keep hot. Discard any mussels that have not opened.

5. Strain the pan juices through a sieve, and return to the pan and reduce by half.

6. Remove the pan from the heat, beat in the remaining butter and the lemon juice.

7. Pour the liquid over the mussels and serve immediately.