These beer steamed mussels tossed with garlic scapes and lemon make a great appetizer or meal, and are a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Enjoy them at home on the deck, gathered around a campfire, or cooked up right at the beach!
If your looking for a quick and easy shellfish recipe to cook at home, mussels are probably the way to go even for a beginner cook. Requiring very minimal prep work (just a little washing and checking for dead ones), mussels are easily flavored with your favorite herbs, spices, and sauces. A take on the traditional white wine and garlic mussels combo, I opted to make mine with beer and switch things up a little. A light local Belgian Ale specifically, (mostly because it’s what I had on hand), but the pairing actually worked extremely well.
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What Kind Of Pot Do I Need To Cook Mussels
The easiest way to cook these beer steamed mussels is in a large pot with lid, but a deep walled pan will also work if cooking smaller batches. You want to ensure that the pot is large enough to hold all the mussels, even when cooked. Don’t forget the shells will open and the cooked mussels will almost double in volume. A 24 quart pot is large enough to cook 5lbs of mussels easily, and can double as a lobster pot as well!
What Are Garlic Scapes & Where Do I Get Them?
Garlic scapes are the immature flower stalk of the garlic plant, and can be found at farmers markets and grocery stores in mid June for a few weeks. The garlic scapes are a substitute for garlic cloves which are traditionally used when cooking mussels. Garlic scapes make a great substitute, and are delicious when steamed with the mussels. Tender, and similar in texture to green onion but with a light garlic flavor, they are an easy way to use up some home grown produce.
If you cant find garlic scapes, green onion (also known as scallions) or simply fresh garlic can easily be substituted. – Chef Markus Mueller
Beer Steamed Mussels With Garlic Scapes & Lemon
Enough chit-chat though, lets get to the recipe! You’ll need:
- 5lbs of Fresh Mussels (Don’t forget to wash the mussels right before cooking them!
- 1lb Fresh garlic scapes – roughly chopped
- 1 Bottle of your favorite Belgian Ale ( I used a local craft beer from Upstreet Brewing Company in Charlottetown, PEI)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 Whole Lemon
- Chive Flowers or raw garlic scapes to garnish (optional)
Melt a tablespoon or two of butter in your pot and then toss in a cup of freshly sliced garlic scapes. Saute the garlic scapes really quickly over high heat for 2 to 4 minutes to soften them up, giving them a stir or two to avoid scorching the scapes. This helps bring out some of their flavor, and who doesn’t love the smell of garlic cooking!?
Next pour in the entire bottle of Belgian Ale, followed by 5 lbs of washed and cleaned mussels.
Cover the pot with a lid and sit back. Let the pot come back to a boil, and then turn the heat down to a simmer. The mussels should steam for a good 5 -7 minutes before you check them. You can give the pot a shake (careful not to burn yourself), to coat all the mussels in hot liquid and ensure they cook evenly. This can also help larger more stubborn mussels cook a bit faster.
Once 5 minutes are up open the lid and see how far the mussels are. 90% of the mussels should be open and cooked. Give the pot a stir or a shake to help the last few mussels finish cooking. Scoop out the beer steamed mussels with a slotted spoon or a strainer of some kind, and drizzle with the remaining butter. Sprinkle the chive flowers or fresh garlic scapes over the mussels and serve immediately!
Can I Cook These Mussels At The Beach Or Over A Fire?
Of course! Regardless of your cooking location, (over a campfire, on the stove, or on the BBQ) the above cooking method stays the same. If cooking the mussels over a fire, I would suggest using a cast iron pot or dutch oven, to prevent the bottom from scorching. Keep in mind cast iron gets really hot, so use oven mits or a thick dry cloth when moving the lid/ pot.
Have you tried these beer steamed mussels?? Comment & let me know what you thought below, then take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire . For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest
Beer Steamed Mussels with Garlic Scapes and Lemon
- 5 lbs Fresh Mussels
- 1 lb Fresh garlic scapes - roughly chopped
- 1 bottle Belgian Ale
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 whole Lemon
- Chive flowers or raw garlic scapes to garnish optional
- Wash the mussels in fresh water and check for any dead shellfish.
- Melt a tablespoon or two of butter in a large deep pot.
- Roughly chop the garlic scapes into bite size pieces.
- Toss the cup of freshly sliced garlic scapes into the butter. Saute the garlic scapes really quickly over high heat for 2 to 4 minutes to soften them up.
- Pour the entire bottle of Belgian Ale into the pot and bring it back to a boil. Add the 5 lbs of washed and cleaned mussels.
- Cover the pot with a lid and let the pot come back to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Let the mussels should steam for a good 5 -7 minutes .
- Once 5 -7 minutes are up open the lid and see how far the mussels are. 90% of the mussels should be open and cooked. Give the pot a stir or a shake to help the last few mussels finish cooking.
- Scoop out the beer steamed mussels with a slotted spoon or a strainer and drizzle with the remaining butter.
- Sprinkle the chive flowers or fresh garlic scapes over the mussels and serve immediately!