3lbs mussels, cleaned
500ml dry cider
2 shallots, finely diced
200g smoked bacon, diced
1 head of fennel, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
Sprig of fresh thyme
Fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large pan until very hot; add the mussels and then the cider. Cover the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes until the mussels have opened. Take off the heat and drain the liquid, reserving it for later.
Heat a large frying pan and add the bacon, cook on medium heat until crispy and golden.
Remove the bacon whilst reserving the fat and then add the butter, followed by the shallots and fennel. Sweat for a few minutes, before adding the chili, garlic, bay leaf and thyme.
Once the fennel is almost cooked, add the bacon back into the pan, along with the cooking liquid from the mussels. Add the chopped parsley and the mussels back to the pan and mix everything together gently.