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Middle of the Table Mussels Recipe with Bacon by Chef Brian McDermott

Mussels are the perfect middle-of-the-table, sharing food experience. I’ve convinced friends who say they don’t eat seafood to try mussels this way and they’ve been blown away by the flavour. I remember teaching a group of twelve- to fourteen-year-olds who were adamant they did not eat mussels, yet when cooked at the side of the pier in Greencastle they devoured the lot! Try this middle of the table mussels recipe and see for yourself!

Serves 6


– 4 rashers dry-cured bacon
– 2 kg Irish mussels
– 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
– 1 bay leaf
– 1 small onion, diced
– 50ml white wine
– 150ml cream
– Freshly ground black pepper
– Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
– Crusty bread (for dipping)


1. Grill the bacon until crispy, then set aside. Wait until they’ve cooled, then cut them into strips.
2. Wash the mussels in cold water. Discard any open mussels.
3. Place the mussels, garlic, bay leaf, onion and white wine into a large pot, and cover with a lid. Place on the hob for about 6 minutes, shaking the pot a couple of times during cooking. The mussels should all have opened – remove any that remain closed.
4. Add the cream, pepper and chopped parsley and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the strips of bacon.
5. Serve with crusty bread to soak up the scrumptious sauce.

Brian’s Tip
I always serve my mussels in the middle of the table in the pot they were cooked in. It looks and smells great, and there’s no better way to encourage my guests to get stuck in!


Brian McDermott has built a national reputation as a chef on one simple belief – that tasty, healthy food based around traditional recipes and local produce is something every family can make and enjoy.

Every family can enjoy this collection of achievable, affordable and accessible recipes celebrating the best of Donegal’s warmth and traditions.

Whether it’s cooking freshly-caught mussels for the fishermen at Greencastle pier or sharing his skills with others at his cookery school, Brian loves to celebrate the best of his home county’s warmth and traditions.

Brian McDermott Brian McDermott
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