Pan-Roasted Mussels with Bacon, Bourbon and Jalapeño

Pan-Roasted Mussels with Bacon, Bourbon and Jalapeno

I’ve been having this insane craving for bacon and jalapeños so get ready for a string of recipes featuring those two ingredients the next couple of weeks.

I made this dish last weekend, and as I was about to add the white wine to the broth, I looked over and saw my bottle of bourbon. Then I thought, “Hmm…”

Needless to say, it was absolutely the right decision! The smokiness from the bacon and deep heat from the roasted jalapeño perfectly complimented the tender mussels but then adding the bourbon gave the dish a rustic “oaky-vanilla” essence I just did not expect. It was delicious!

Bake up a loaf of your favorite bread when you make this. You’ll want it to sop up all of that flavorful broth!


2 pounds fresh mussels, cleaned
2 jalapeño peppers, roasted, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup uncooked maple smoked bacon, diced
1 cup clam juice
1/2 cup maple-infused bourbon
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


1) Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and cook the bacon until it’s crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon transfer it to a small bowl.

2) Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and cook them for 3-5 minutes until they are softened. Stir in the jalapeño peppers.

3) Add the mussels, clam juice and the bourbon to the vegetables and then cover the pan. Steam the mussels for 5-8 minutes or until they start to open, gently shaking the pan a few times as they cook.

4) Remove the cover from the pan and discard any shells that haven’t opened. Transfer the shells that have opened to serving bowls and cover the bowls to keep the mussels warm.

5) Using the same pan, stir in the cream and add the bacon, butter, and parsley. Cook the sauce for one minute until the cream is heated through and the butter is melted. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

6) To serve, spoon the sauce over the mussels and serve with crusty bread to soak up the broth.

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