Mussels in saffron broth

Mussels in saffron broth

By
From
Man Food
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Billy Law

If you’re able to get your hands on some good-quality saffron, treat these precious threads with respect and store them properly. When I was in Dubai, I didn't do much shopping except to bring home a handful of Iranian saffron as gifts for friends (and also to keep some for my own kitchen pantry). A little goes a long way — you only need a smidgen of the saffron to enhance the flavoursome broth with the taste of the sea from the mussels.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
pinch good-quality saffron
25g butter
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
1 leek, quartered lengthways and sliced, white part only
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
250ml dry white wine
2kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
handful parsley, roughly chopped
baguette, to serve

Method

  1. Soak the saffron in 60 ml hot water in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and leek and sauté until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the paprika and cayenne pepper and keep stirring for another minute.
  3. Add the wine and saffron water, bring to the boil and scrape the base of the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon to release all the caramelised bits. Add the mussels to the pan, cover with the lid and cook for 5 minutes, or until the mussels open, stirring occasionally.
  4. Season with pepper and sprinkle parsley all over. Serve with baguette to soak up the aromatic broth.
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