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Mussels Steamed with Bacon, Beer, and Fennel

Photo: Caleb Chancey, Brian Woodcock; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl
Hands-on time 25 mins
Total time 25 mins
Yield Serves 4
You may not think of seafood as budget-friendly, but mussels certainly are. If you can't find a 16-ounce beer (a "tall boy"), you can use a 12-ounce beer plus 1/2 cup broth or water. If there's wiggle room in your budget, pick up some crusty bread to dunk into the beer broth.

Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce) fennel bulb with stalks
  • 1 1/2 ounces applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 10 ounce red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (16-ounce) can beer
  • 1 1/2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded (about 40)
  • 4 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/3-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Nutrition Information

  • calories 237
  • fat 7 g
  • satfat 2.2 g
  • monofat 2.9 g
  • polyfat 0.9 g
  • protein 18 g
  • carbohydrate 23.3 g
  • fiber 3.8 g
  • cholesterol 38 mg
  • iron 5 mg
  • sodium 665 mg
  • calcium 73 mg

How to Make It

  1. Trim tough outer leaves from fennel; mince feathery fronds to measure 2 tablespoons. Remove and discard stalks. Cut fennel bulb in half lengthwise, and discard core. Vertically slice bulb.

  2. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat for 3 minutes or until crisp, stirring frequently. Add fennel bulb, potatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook 10 minutes or until fennel is lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to high. Add beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil. Stir in mussels and green beans; cover and cook 4 minutes or until mussels open. Discard any unopened shells. Stir in juice. Divide mussel mixture evenly among 4 bowls, and spoon broth evenly over mussels. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fennel fronds.