2Kg live mussels,
1 clove garlic,
4 rashers streaky bacon,
50g butter, herbs: thyme, rosemary, bay leaf,
2 sticks of celery, plus leaves from a bunch,
hot chili powder,
Clean mussels, in a bowl of cold water, scrubbing the outside and discarding any which float to the top, and any open mussels which don't close when tapped, (they're dead). Remove the beards, a fibrous hair which runs outside the shell, my pulling towards the hinge end of the mussel. Soak the mussels in clean water whilst preparing the sauce - grit / sand will be removed with each rinse!
Finely chop the onion, garlic and chili, and bacon - fry in the butter. Tie the herbs into a bunch and add to the pan, stirring to ensuring the herbs are covered in butter. Add the gin, cream, chopped celery sticks, chili powder & paprika. Simmer and to reduce and thicken the sauce. Once thickened, add Mussels and celery leaves. Cover and steam for 3-4 minutes, until the mussels are opened up. Serve in bowls, pouring the excess sauce over the top, with crusty bread.
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