Steamed mussels are a classic dish that really have endless possibilities for interesting and excellent new takes. Currently in the Midwest corn is awesome and also everywhere these days. I don't know about you, but we are always looking for interesting ways to serve it up. And this really is the best mussels recipe with beer, chorizo and corn. And they couldn't be simpler to make either.
Don't get me wrong I love mussels steamed in wine and with tomato sauce, but this is quintessential summer shellfish at its finest. I can't think of anything better than sitting outside with an ice cold beer, a few pieces of sourdough toast to soak up the sauce and these mussels. Ok well maybe better would be if there was a magical outdoor place that wasn't 800 degrees and was also BUG FREE. That would be better, but I will take what I can get here in Chicago.
How do you cook mussels?
Steamed mussels are the best mussels. ANd while there is a lot of recipes for mussels out there, I don't know any that aren't actually steamed. SO if you google it - google 'Mussels recipe,' not 'How to cook mussels,' because they are all cooked in the same way.
For this recipe I steamed the mussels in beer, for something a little different, and it was THE BEST idea I had all week long. I used Modelo, but any beer would work, and I am sure a nice hoppy IPA would be great. I wanted something lighter, bright and not too strong.
Most frequently you will find them steamed in wine or with lemon and garlic or a little cream or tomato, here are my faves for those:
- Mussels in White Wine
- Mussels with Garlic and Lemon Sauce
- Classic French Mussels
- Spicy Mussels with Tomatoes
Outside of steamed mussels, I don't really know any other way to cook them.
What you need for this best mussels recipe
So now that I have fully exhausted you with other options for mussels recipes here is what you need for mine.
Mussels - duh. Use fresh ones from the seafood department at your grocery store. These are alive when you get them so treat them as such. Buy them the day of, and store them in a bowl with ice. Rinse and scrub them to remove all the grit. And check them all before cooking, any that are already open are junk so toss them. And yes, you will inevitably get a few that are junk.
- Olive oil - for cooking the shallots, chorizo and for richness.
- Shallots - for flavor.
- Chorizo - these will add a nice spiciness and salty pork fattiness. And really, who doesn't love some chorizo with basically anything?
- Beer - your steaming liquid of choice here. I said earlier, I used Modelo because it is lighter and seemingly goes with chorizo, but use whatever you want.
- Corn - totally in season and give that touch of sweetness to the whole thing. I use fresh corn because it is wildly available to me at this time of year. If I made this in winter (which I do not typically) I would use a bag of frozen. Basically I am saying use whichever makes sense for you.
- Limes - cause, I cannot say this enough n cooking, EVERYTHING needs a bit of acid for balance.
- Salt and pepper - I mean, I really shouldn't have to say this, it should be a given. I will say tho to make the best mussels recipe you don't need a ton of salt, mussels are salty and release a little bit of saltwater when steamed.
Pro tips for maximum enjoyment of the best steamed mussels ever
Make sure to clean the mussels. Also notice there is a thread hanging on the mouth of most the mussels - just pull that right out.
Use a deep sauté pan. These are a one pot deal, so make sure to use a decent sized one.
Squeeze the lime juice in last. Like after cooking, you want a fresh burst of acid on these.
Looking for other great summer recipes? I gotchu covered -
Best mussels recipe (with beer, chorizo and corn)
- 1-1 ½ pound bag of fresh mussels scrubbed, cleaned threaded and checked for junk ones
- ½ pound chorizo sausage
- 1 small shallot finely diced
- 1 bottle of beer I used Modello, use what you like
- 2 ears of fresh corn kernels cut off the cob, about ¾ cup or so
- Olive oil not an exact amount, drizzle for the pan
- Salt to taste not as much as you would think, start out small and add small as you go
- One lime
- Heat a large sauté pan and drizzle with oil. Add the chorizo and cook on medium/high until good and browned, stirring and breaking up into small bits. Add the shallots and cook until softened and translucent. With the heat still at medium/high add the beer slowly to deglaze the pan. SHake it around and scrape up any of the crispy goodness stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the corn. Now is a good time to taste for salt. Chorizo is salty, so see how it tastes, add a tiny pinch if you think it is lacking.
- Bring everything to a simmer and throw in your prepped mussels. Put a lid on the pan and steam in the cooking liquid about five minutes, maybe a little less, maybe a little more. The mussels should all open (any that don't, get tossed). Stir everything a bit and taste again for salt, adding a little bit, if needed.
- Drizzle everything with a little extra olive oil just for a finishing touch and squeeze the juice of the lime over everything.