Serves: 4
Difficulty: Easy

Moules-frites has got to be one of France’s greatest exports. Who doesn’t love plump, juicy mussels with a pile of crispy fries to dip in the juices? And it’s one of the easiest dishes to whip up, too. Francophile chef Matt Budden, from Schpoons & Forx at the Bournemouth Hilton, shares his recipe for Normandy-style rope-grown mussels, which can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.


  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 4 large banana shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 200ml dry apple cider
  • 75g smoked back bacon
  • 1kg rope-grown mussels, scrubbed, beards removed
  • 200ml double cream


1Heat rapeseed oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add bacon, shallot, thyme and cook until tender (5-6 minutes).

2Add cider, bring to the simmer, add mussels, increase heat to high, cover and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until mussels open (2-3 minutes).

3Season to taste, add cream, stir until mussels are well coated, and serve hot with crusty sourdough bread – or frites.



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