The best use of bad wine is to drive away poor relations, they say. Well, this serves 4, so get out the good stuff.
- 1.8kg (4 lbs) mussels
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 2 big handfuls fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 6 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
- 500ml (1 pint) dry white wine
- Fry the shallots and garlic gently with some parsley stalks until soft, then add the flour and stir well. Pour in the wine, and bring to the boil, stirring all the time to avoid lumps. Once boiling, add the mussels (clean them first, removing barnacles and beards—and don’t cook any that stay open when you wash them). Boil for three to four minutes, covered, shaking the pot from time to time. They’re cooked when they’re all (or almost all) open. Stir in the butter and parsley and serve with plenty of good french bread.