Recipe: Cooking the perfect mussels at Cheval Blanc Wine Bar, Moseley

The simple pleasures in life, and in food, are often the most satisfying. I don’t quite mean beans on toast simple (or do I..?), but a bowl of mussels and a glass of good wine simple. This was definitely my conclusion when Alev from Bella Robot and I visited Cheval Blanc wine bar in Moseley last week, to learn how to cook the perfect mussels in a madras sauce. Now, not only do I know how to knock up this comforting dish at home, but I can also shout about the fact that you can enjoy this meal in the stylish surroundings of Cheval Blanc for a mere fiver, which, in case I have to tell you, is an absolute steal. And if that wasn’t enough, pair a glass of wine with the dish for another fiver and you’ve got yourself a real treat at a fantastic price. Read on to find out how chef Cyd gets mussels spot on…

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Cheval Blanc is a relatively new bar on the buzzing Moseley High Street. Expect plush seating, relaxed music and an insanely good selection of wines, but without any of the pretense. The staff at Cheval Blanc are friendly and laid back, and you won’t be judged if, like me, you’re not yet an expert on wine! Soon after arriving, with a glass in hand, we were invited back to the kitchen to watch Cheval Blanc’s Chef Cyd show us how it’s done. Below is the recipe for mussels in a madras sauce, but look out for other variations on the menu:

For two generous servings:

1kg mussels

1 tbsp clarified butter

15g finely chopped shallots

15g grated carrots

1 tbsp chopped chives

2 tsps curry madras powder

100ml of white wine

100 ml double cream

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Method:

  1. Heat the pan to 100°C and melt the clarified butter
  2. Raise the heat  to around 120°C and add the carrots, shallots, madras powder and white wine, then let it reduce
  3. Add the double cream and let it reduce until almost dry
  4. Add the mussels and cover the pan, cook for about 3 minutes
  5. Sprinkle with chives and serve with crusty bread

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It really is that simple, so even if you’re not an expert in the kitchen you can serve up something really special. We of course were soon digging in to the dish, which somehow managed to be humble, yet beautifully elegant. The sauce had a subtle spicy flavour and a silky texture, and the mussels themselves were truely mouth watering. Washed down with a glass of white wine, this is stripped back french dining at it’s best. dscf8751I will certainly be trying this at home, but no doubt I will also soon be back to enjoy them in the gorgeous surroundings of Cheval Blanc! Get your mussels fix for a fiver between 12-6pm Saturdays and Sundays at the bar – you won’t regret it! Thank you to Cyd and the team at Cheval Blanc for having us, and to Paul for organising, see you again soon!

 

The food and wine on this visit were complimentary in return for a write-up on the blog. This does not affect my honest opinion.
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