Mussels in a Saffron Beer Broth


The second recipe in our “Raising the Bar Food’ Series is a updated twist on Fried Calamari. Fried Calamari can be perfect the share with your friends in the bar and is a fun seafood option! However, these Mussels are just as easy to share, taste perfect with the cold beer in your left hand, and have sooo much flavor!

Did I mention they only take less than 20 minutes start to finish?



To start with any mussel dish, we need to clean the mussels. Some places may do this for you, so don’t be afraid to ask! Otherwise, its easy to do on your own. Empty the mussels into a bowl and one by one clean under cold water by scrubbing with her hand or a little brush. There may also be a “beard” on the flatter side of the mussel and if there is anything you can grab there, yank it out! One last tip is if a mussel does not close when you tap it, it’s a goner, throw it to the side. Keep all of the cleaneed keepers in a separate bowl and set in the fridge.

In a large pot over medium-medium high heat, add in your olive oil. Once warmed, add in your red onion and saute for 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and salt and stir to mix. Slowly add in the beer and scrape the bottom of the pan to ensure you deglaze all of the flavor that may be there.

Add in the worstershire, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and zest, and saffron. The saffron adds a bit of flavor and also provides the most beautiful color to the broth, however; if you don’t have it, it will still be good!


Cook for another 10 minutes for the broth’s flavors to combine either over medium or medium low heat, as long as its a low simmer.

Once the broth has sat for 10 minutes, crank the heat up to medium high heat, dump in the cleaned mussels, cover the pot and let them steam for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and sprinkle in the parsley and basil. Stir to combine and separate the mussels into 2 bowls. A good rule of thumb is 1 lb of mussels per person.

Serve with some crusty bread to soak up the broth and another bowl for the shells to be dumped into. It’ll be the hit of your party and no one will know just how easy it is!



  • 2 lbs of Cleaned Mussels
  • 1.5 Beers
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 cup Diced Red Onion
  • Juice and Zest of a Lemon
  • 1 tbs Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbs Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 4 Basil Leaves
  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Pinch of Saffron


  1. If your store does not clean the mussels, to clean them at home, run them under cold water and scrub the shells. If any shells do not close when you knock on them, throw them out. On the flat side of the mussel, there may be a "beard", pull that out as well.
  2. Place a big pot over medium heat and add in the olive oil and chopped red onion. Stir and cook for 10 minutes, when onions are translucent and just turning a gold color. Add in the garlic and salt and stir.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the beer and a half of whatever you prefer, something lighter. Stir in the Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, lemon juice, lemon zest, and saffron. Cook for 10 minutes over medium-low heat for flavors to infuse and blend.
  4. Add in the cleaned mussels to the broth, cover, and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. You know they are done cooking once all of the shells open up.
  5. Remove from the heat and serve in the broth with crusty bread and a side of chimichurri and/or tobacco.