Steamed mussels with fennel, garlic and chorizo
Sweet and smoky paprika gives a spicy kick to a one-pan wonder. Grill some sourdough, rub with garlic and drizzle with olive oil for the perfect accompaniment to the mussel sauce.
Steamed mussels with fennel, garlic and chorizo. Photo: William Meppem
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2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
120g Spanish chorizo sausage, sliced
1 brown onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 tsp sea salt
1 trimmed baby fennel, sliced
2 tsp smoky sweet paprika
1 cup dry sherry
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tins diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 kg mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
To serve: sourdough bread, garlic and olive oil
Heat oil in a large, heavy casserole pot over medium heat and fry chorizo slices until golden. Remove, put to one side, then reduce heat to low.
Add onion, garlic and salt. Cook for 5-8 minutes. Add fennel and good-quality paprika (the La Chinata brand is perfect) and continue to cook for another five minutes.
Add sherry, cook for 2 minutes, until slightly reduced. Add tomato paste, stir well and cook for 1 minute, then add tinned tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes.
Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil, then simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Place mussels in sauce, stir through and cover with a lid. Continue to cook, shaking occasionally, until mussels are ready, about 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir through parsley, lemon juice and pepper.
Serve in the pot at the table with grilled garlic sourdough slices (see recipe introduction, at top).