This week’s recipe of the week is mussels and chips, supplied to us by Magpie Cafe chef Paul Gildroy.
2kg white potatoes (King Edwards are ideal), beef dripping for deep frying, 2kg fresh mussels, 80g butter, 6 shallots (finely sliced), 3 cloves of garlic (crushed), 300ml Chardonnay, 200ml double cream, chopped parsley
Place the dripping into a deep pan – no more than half way up and heat to 140°C (never leave a pan of fat unattended in case of fire). Peel the potatoes and cut them into chips, the thicker the better as they will absorb less fat the thicker they are. Blanch the chips in the dripping until firm but soft in the
middle, remove the chips and set aside.
Heat the dripping to around 180°C ready to finish the chips. For the mussels, firstly pull away any beard (this is the woolly/hairy bit that is attached to the side of the mussel) and rinse the mussels under cold running water, discard any that do not close.
Heat the butter in a pan and add the shallot and garlic, over a moderate heat sauté these without any colour but until soft and opaque. Increase the heat and add the mussels and Chardonnay, cover with a tightly fitting lid and steam for 4-5 minutes or until they have all opened, discarding any that do not open. Share the mussels between four bowl reserving the cooking liquor.
Place the pan of liquor back onto the heat and bring to the boil, add the cream, bring back to the boil and reduce by a third.
Finish the chips by carefully putting them back into the hot dripping, fry until crisp and golden. Remove the chips from the pan and drain onto kitchen paper and lightly season them.
Place them into a large bowl to share. The mussel liquor should now have reduced by a third, add the chopped parsley and then pour this over the mussels and serve immediately with the chips and some garlic mayonnaise.