Every so often a small but dedicated group of our employees gather to talk beer and food. The group includes our Executive and R&D Chefs, our Brewmaster, and a few other foodies lucky enough to make the guest list. During these discussions we chat about great beers we’ve tried, restaurants we’ve visited, and even dishes we’ve prepared at home. By taking ourselves out of “work” mode, we’re able to get great work done. Our Chefs Gunther and Corey use these gatherings as an opportunity to prepare and share their latest beer and food pairings. Over the years these guys have done some truly remarkable things with beer in the kitchen – and this month’s post is a homage to their passion for beer and food. Below is a recipe inspired by their Belgian IPA Mussels, created especially for April’s menu. This version uses ingredients available at local farmers markets, including the Carlsbad Aquafarm mussels we use in our brewery restaurants. I picked up the mussels, produce, and bread at Sunday’s Hillcrest Farmers Market.
Ingredients: Prep Time – 25 Minutes
2 lbs Carlsbad Black Mussels (cleaned and de-bearded)
6 Slices Bacon Chopped (pre-cook and pat dry before chopping)
½ Cup Finely Chopped Yellow Onion
½ Cup Finely Chopped Fennel
1 Shallot Finely Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves Crushed
4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 Tbs Clover Honey
2 Tbs Butter
½ Cup Heavy Cream
1 ½ Cup Blackball Belgian IPA (room temperature)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Step 1: Scrub mussels with a coarse brush under cold running water. Remove any beards and discard any mussels that are broken or open. Reserve cleaned mussels in a large bowl of ice water until ready to steam.
Step 2: Melt butter in large saucepan. Add bacon, fennel, onions, shallots, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
Step 3: Add Blackball Belgian IPA and bring to a boil. Add mussels, cover, and steam until mussels have opened (4-5 Minutes). Remove from heat and discard any mussels that have not opened.
Step 4: Transfer mussels to serving dish, reserving the broth in the saucepan. Return broth to medium heat and stir in honey and cream. Ladle broth over mussels and serve with grilled French bread.