Mussels with Caramelised Leek and Bacon

Mussels with Caramelised Leek and Bacon

My brother in law is an abalone diver and the most awesome seafood cook I have ever met.  At his property, on Bruny Island, in Tasmania, he has purpose built a long outdoor kitchen, with a stainless bench, large deep sink and a hotplate - all ready for his fresh catch.  Together, we have experimented with abalone, mussels, crays and oysters.  From lemon and wasabi to soy bean paste and sesame.  But for sure, when we have oodles of family around, we keep it simple and we happened upon mussels with the smoky salty addition of bacon one day - and we loved it.  It may not be 5 star but I still think it is a winner - and I am always happy to have a glass of Sauvignon Blanc on hand.


  • A bag full of freshly caught mussels or around 750g from your supplier
  • A lump of butter
  • Olive Oil
  • 8 - 10 rashers of smokey streaky bacon
  • 2 leeks or red onions - sliced
  • loads of fresh herbs - coriander if you like it or thyme/marjoram or flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Instructions


  1. Scrub and de-beard the mussels.  If some of them are tricky and you leave them then don’t forget to check them at the end (I have forgotten before and got in trouble for it!!)
  2. Heat the olive oil in a wok.  Add the bacon and cook until it colours and starts to smell delicious.
  3. Add in the leeks and cook together until everything is sweating and soft and yummy looking.
  4. Add the mussels and the wine and cover with a lid or extra large frypan(upside down).
  5. The mussels will steam open.  If after 4-5 minutes you have closed mussels then discard them as they are not for eating!
  6. Pile the mussels into a bowl (hopefully you will have a nice big one handy).
  7. Cook off the juices for a few minutes and add a knob of butter to the sauce.
  8. Pour over the mussels and serve with a simple salad and crusty bread.


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