February 15, 2012

Beer Steamed Mussels and Shrimp

When I read that Debbie thought this dish was so good it was "to die for", I knew I wanted to try it. Debbie has over 200 cookbooks and this recipe is from The Homesick Texan Cookbook.

I adapted the recipe quite a bit, adding more tomatoes and onion, adding black pepper, olive oil, and shrimp in addition to the mussels. The spiciness of the  chorizo and chilies, along with the earthiness of the dark beer are the flavors that shine in this dish. 

The sofrito from this recipe would make a nice bruschetta topping, and the sauce would work for any fish.
I knew I wanted to use a beer that was brewed in Montana and found Copper John Scotch Ale brewed by the Madison River Brewing Company in Belgrade. I only bought one bottle but after my gardener and I tasted it, we both wished that I'd bought more, so onto the shopping list that went!
I used frozen mussels that were huge and plump and delicious, and raw, tail-on frozen shrimp. I opted for the beef chorizo because I thought it might be less greasy than the pork, but there was no difference. Whichever one you use, be sure to drain it well after cooking. It's the flavor, not the grease, that you want.
This is a keeper recipe, for sure. If you're not a mussel lover, give this recipe a try with just shrimp, which is what I'm going to do next time - lots and lots of shrimp!

Oh, and see that bread - it's homemade sourdough. Yep, I made my own starter and then the bread. Reading so many do's and don'ts about making a starter was kind of scary! But I forged ahead and found that it doesn't have to be. So, I'm working on a blog post with instructions for a user-friendly starter and the bread, which you'll see soon. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and make this dish!

Beer Steamed Mussels and Shrimp - adapted from here

1# mussels (fresh or frozen)
1/2# raw frozen shrimp (thawed)
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 serrano chilis, seeded and diced
5 oz Beef Chorizo, cooked and drained well
1/4 c lemon juice
1 T lemon zest
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1-12 oz. bottle dark beer
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Clean fresh mussels in cold water, removing the beard if it hasn't already been removed.

In a Dutch oven heated on medium-low add butter and olive oil. When butter has melted, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.  Add the tomatoes, chilies, chorizo, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and beer. 

Bring to a boil and add mussels. If using fresh mussels, cover the pot and cook on high heat for 7 minutes. Remove lid and add the shrimp. Continue cooking, stirring often until the mussel shells open and the shrimp are cooked, about another 3 minutes. If using frozen mussels, refer to the cooking times on package.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mussels and shrimp into individual bowls, discarding any mussels that didn't open. Pour some of the broth over the mussels and shrimp. Garnish with cilantro and serve with a crusty bread.

Serves 2. 


  1. This looks delicious! I don't think I've even seen frozen mussels. They looks really good and quite large.

    For some reason, you are not showing up in my "followed" blogs. I thought maybe I'd dropped off but I just tried "following" you again and was told that I'm already a "follower". Hmmmm! I did see on Facebook that you'd posted. There must be a "cyberbug" at work.


  2. Oh wow! This is really nice...DELICIOUS.


  3. What a fun dish! i've always been a bit intimidated about cooking mussels, but it really makes no sense. This looks so tasty!

  4. Looks delicious!! Gonna have to try this one.

  5. If only my husband liked shellfish, he'd love this! Looks fantastic, I will have to save this for when my shellfish loving sister is in town.

  6. Sounds delish...funny, I use the same frozen mussels? Can't wait for your post on the sour dough starter, I've been wanting to start one myself.

  7. Though I don't personally enjoy seafood with red sauce Matt LOVES it! I'm passing this on to him for something he can make on those nights I'm off galivanting with my Writing friends :-) Thanks!

  8. Oh my gosh..This dish looks divine Karen! Guess what we are having for dinner tonite ;) I also can't wait for your sour dough lesson.. I've been wanting to make a starter for months now.

  9. Having a hard time posting comment here Karen :( so trying again. I LOVE this dish and just picked up 2# fresh mussels & can't wait to taste that flavor.

  10. This sounds and looks really good. Great flavors in it and gorgeous coloring. I made sourdough starter also and baked the delicious bread---after seeing this post I have to make it and the mussels.

  11. It sounds amazing!!!I will serve it with white rice to soak the sauce!

  12. I've had steamed mussels with wine but never beer, must give that a go! Something fun about eating out of pie pans!

  13. I've never had mussels, but this dish is so pretty that I'm sure it's got to taste amazing!
    Can't wait for your bread post Karen. I've been on a bread baking kick lately, but have not made sourdough.

  14. I love mussels but admit that I've never prepared them at home. This recipe looks so good, Karen, and I can't wait to try it. I have never seen frozen mussels in the market. I'll have to ask about it.

  15. What a great combination of ingredients; I always order mussels at the restaurant. You are inspring me to try this. Will be back to check out your bred.

  16. Gorgeous styling on that delicious sounding dish!

  17. I am such a geek and of course I love mussels. Yours are particularly beautiful. But it is the pie tin plates that have me swooning! Well done. GREG


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