1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup hard cider
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
4 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees.
Heat oil and bacon in roasting pan until bacon has rendered and is starting to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add hard cider, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves and bring to boil. Cook until cider is slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Add mussels and salt.
Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil and transfer to oven. Cook until most mussels have opened (a few may remain closed), 15-18 minutes.
Remove pan from oven. Push mussels to sides of pan. Add heavy cream to center and whisk until melted. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves, sprinkle parsley over mussels, and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Andrew Janjigian, "The Best Way to Cook Mussels," Cook's Illustrated, September & October 2013, page 19