Shetland Mussels with leeks, apple and cider

Shetland Mussels with leeks, apple and cider
11th March 2022 Richard Stuttle

Shetland Mussels with leeks, apple and cider


Serves 4 for a starter or 2 for main course

A twist on the classic Moules Mariniere, light and flavourful for a spring or summer evening.

You can elevate this dish by adding our naturally smoked haddock, smoked salmon or smoked eel for a treat.


  • 1kg live Shetland mussels
  • 2 large shallots diced/minced
  • 1 large leek, sliced and washed
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • 330ml fruity cider
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
  • 20gm diced butter (optional)
  • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
  • 4 slices of bacon, precooked and chopped
  • chopped parsley, chives or dill
  • Fine salt and pepper mill
  • 1 tsp cornflour mixed with 25ml water


Baking tray

mixing bowl

Saucepan, wide bottomed with lip

Saucepan (20cm/4pt)


Slotted spoon to serve


Minimum effort, maximum reward!

For a naturally cultivated product these mussels do not take a great deal of cleaning.

Simply open the net and empty it into a large bowl or baking tray. Check the mussels by eye, if any of them remain open or have become damaged, should be discarded.


Rinse the remaining mussels in under the cold tap and place them in the colander.

Individually check each mussel, holding the shell in one hand and firmly pinching the ‘beard’ or rope in the other hand, pull the beard away in a firm movement from the hinged part of the shell and away from the mussel, place the cleaned mussel into the original bowl and repeat until they are all checked. (You can use a folded piece of kitchen paper if you are struggling to grip the beard!)

Rinse the mussels to remove any stray beards and drain well, cover with clean damp tea towel and place in the fridge.

(Note: do not leave the mussels in water or they will die, nor should you place them in a lidded container)



Pre-heat the saucepan on a medium to high heat, add the oil and shallot and stir for 60 seconds or so depending on how finely they are chopped, add the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds. Add the leeks and half the cider and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the mussels to the pan followed by the rest of the cider and the chopped apple, immediately turn up the heat onto full and place the lid on. Allow the mussels to steam and as soon as the pan has filled with steam and the mussels have begun to open, remove the lid but keep the heat high, this will allow some of the cooking liquor to evaporate, stir gently to ensure all mussels cook evenly.

When all the mussels have opened pour them into a colander reserving the juice in a bowl or pan below.

*Check for any un-opened mussels and discard. *

Return the sauce to the pan and add the cornflour solution and bring to a gentle boil, add the diced butter, chopped bacon, spring onions and your choice of herbs, check the seasoning.

Place your mussels in a serving bowl and pour the sauce over the top generously.

Serve with a chunk of crusty baguette

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Elevate this recipe by swapping the bacon for our naturally smoked haddock, smoked salmon or smoked eel for a treat!