The nice thing about this mussel recipe is that it is just as easy to make in the oven. We prefer it with a little snarl of chilli, peppadew and fresh coriander leaf, but you can jazz it up further, or turn the volume down as much as you like, as long as you stay with the two main ingredients – fresh black mussels and fresh, ripe tomatoes.
To serve four portions you need:
1-1.5 kg fresh black mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed and chopped
4 bay leaves
½ tablespoon black pepper corns
1-2 fresh red or green chillies, seeds removed and finely chopped
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander leaf
4 -6 peppadews, drained and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons plain olive oil
1kg fresh tomatoes, chopped but not peeled3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup dry white wine
1 small tin of tomato paste
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Salt and black pepper
In the potjie (or large kitchen pot) heat the oil and sauté the onion, chilli and garlic for four minutes over medium to low heat.
Add the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, pepper corns, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper and tomato paste.
Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes over low heat.
Add the mussels, toss well, cover and simmer for about 7 minutes or until all the mussels have opened.
Discard the ones that have not opened..
Sprinkle with parsley and coriander leaf.
Serve with crusty bread – and encourage you guests to use their fingers instead of forks.
This dish is also perfect for serving as a starter, following by a barbequed snoek or other fish for a main course.