4 strips of bacon, chopped
1 large shallot, minced (about 1/2 cup)
4 medium cloves of garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3/4 cup Belgian-style ale, or witbier
2 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed clean and beards removed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
Crusty bread, for serving
Place the bacon in a large stainless steel skillet set over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Set bacon aside.
Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots soften and the garlic just begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the thyme to the pan and stir in the beer, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the beer begins to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cleaned mussels to the pan in a single layer. Place a lid on the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, check the mussels. Using a pair of tongs, remove any mussels that have opened and transfer to a large bowl. Cover the pan again and simmer for another 5 minutes, transferring any opened mussels to the large bowl.
When all of the mussels are opened and transferred to the bowl, whisk the Dijon mustard into the sauce in the pan. Taste the sauce and season with salt and black pepper. Keep in mind that the bacon, as well as the liquor given up by the mussels, are both salty, so not much additional salt may be needed.
Pour the finished sauce over the mussels, then sprinkle on the reserved bacon, as well as the chopped parsley. Serve the mussels with crusty bread and cold beer.
bacon recipe source: Marvin Gapultos (Burnt Lumpia), contributing writer, Serious Eats, October 3, 2012