Mussels with Cider and Tarragon

, from Issue #63. November, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Mussels with Cider and Tarragon

Have lots of fresh crusty bread on hand to mop up all the lovely juices from these tender, succulent mussels. 

Serves: 4


2 kilograms mussels, scrubbed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed 
½–1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
1 x 400 gram tin crushed tomatoes
2 cups apple cider
¼ cup chopped parsley
sea salt and ground pepper


Heat the oil in a large, wide sauté pan and cook the onions with salt and pepper until tender. Add the garlic, chilli, tarragon and fennel seeds and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cider and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until reduced by half. 

Tuck the mussels into the sauce, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the mussels have opened. Scatter with the parsley and serve immediately. 

Cook’s Tip: This is a great dish for cooking on the barbecue, provided you use a sauté pan with a heatproof handle.