SPECIAL OFFER: Join our Leiths Online Community to get 20% off select courses

Recipe: Moules Marinière with Garlic Bread

Moules Marinière with Garlic Bread Recipe


1 kg live mussels in shells
½  onion
1 shallot
1 garlic clove
½ small bunch of parsley
25g butter, chilled
75ml water
75ml dry white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Garlic Bread

1 small or ½ large baguette
2 garlic cloves
80-100g butter, softened at room temperature
¼ small bunch of parsley


Preheat the oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan assisted/200°C conventional to cook the garlic bread.

Prepare the mussels and ingredients

  1. Clean and sort through the mussels by checking that each is alive (with a tightly closed shell) discard any that are damaged or open.  Remove any beard threads and scrape off any barnacles. Briefly rinse the mussels in cold fresh water, transfer to a clean bowl, cover with a clean damp j-cloth or kitchen paper and store in the bottom of the fridge until it is time to cook.
  2. Halve, peel and finely dice the onion and shallots.
  3. Peel and dice the garlic, add a small amount of salt, then proceed to crush the garlic to form a purée using the side of the knife.  Separate the garlic into ⅓ for the mussels and ⅔ for the garlic bread.
  4. Pick and finely chop the parsley for both the mussels and the garlic bread, then divide both.

Make the garlic bread

  1. In a small bowl combine the room temperature butter, some of the prepared crushed garlic, a small pinch of salt, along with 1 tbsp of chopped parsley, mix well to combine.
  2. To prepare the garlic bread, cut through the bread about two thirds deep at regular intervals along the baguette.
  3. Spread the butter generously in each pocket of bread.  Loosely wrap the garlic bread in tin foil, ensure that it is well sealed and place on a baking sheet.  
  4. Place the garlic bread into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, while you start to cook the sauce and mussels.

Cook the onions and mussels

  1. Make a cartouche using greaseproof paper, then wet it under a running tap or in a bowl of water.
  2. Melt ⅔ of the butter (around 18g) in a small saucepan, add the diced onion and shallot, top with the damp cartouche and a lid and sweat for about 10 minutes until soft and translucent.  Re-wetting the cartouche after 5 minutes will help to maintain a moist and steamy environment and reduce the chance of caramelisation.
  3. Check the garlic bread, the butter should be melted into the baguette and a golden crust should have formed.
  4. Place a large saucepan onto the heat and transfer in the softened onion and shallot. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the water, wine, a small pinch of parsley and simmer gently for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the mussels, turn the heat up, cover the pan quickly with a tight-fitting lid to retain the steam and cook over a high heat for 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to bring the mussels at the bottom to the top.  After a minute and a half, give the mussels a good stir, then replace the lid and continue cooking for another minute and a half. Remove the lid; if the mussels are all open they are cooked, if most of them are still closed, cover and cook for a further minute or two, or until opened.
  6. Tip the mussels into a colander set over a bowl to catch the liquid and discard any mussels that have not opened. Cover the mussels with a pan lid to keep them warm. Pour the mussel liquid from the bowl back into the pan. Taste, then increase the heat and boil to reduce if it is not too salty, until the liquid has a strong enough concentration of flavour. Reduce the heat when the flavour is on point.
  7. Add in the remaining butter and whisk into the sauce. This is called monter au beurre, it will help create a sheen and more of a lightly clinging consistency.
  8. Add in more chopped parsley. Taste and season with pepper, and a little salt only if needed.

To serve

  1. Transfer the mussels to serving bowls, pour over the sauce and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Take the garlic bread baguette out of the foil and serve on the side to mop up the juices.

Storage and reheating

  • Mussels cannot be safely reheated following being cooked, with this in mind, cook what you need for service and discard any that remain uneaten.
  • The garlic bread can be stored in its prepared/unbaked state for up to 3 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. Once it has been baked it is best served immediately, though can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days, and reheated by briefly flashing it through a hot oven for a few minutes, which will crisp the bread up and improve the flavour.
  • The garlic butter can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Check your emails! You'll soon see how easy it can be to learn with Leiths Online...