Molly’s Onion Mussels

This recipe comes from Traditional Irish Cooking: The Fare of Old Ireland and Its History by Andy Gravette and Debbie Cook.

4 servings


  • 30 mussels, scrubbed clean
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 large onions, sliced
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 potatoes, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 6 chicory leaves, chopped (Belgium endive)
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Scrub the shells clean, removing any barnacles or seaweed. Discard any that are open and do not close when tapped sharply on the counter.

Place the mussels, water, and wine in a saucepan over high heat. Cook until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Toss any that do not open. Use a slotted spoon to remove the mussels. Strain and reserve the cooking liquid.

Add the butter and onions to a saucepan and cook until the onions soften. Add the shallots and garlic. Then the potatoes, chicory, celery, and carrot. Tie the parsley, bay leaf and thyme together with a string. Add that along with the reserved mussel cooking liquid. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Add the mussels and heat through, about 2 minutes.  Serve!

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