Mussels with Speck & Cider

Plump, juicy and sweet, cooked with smokey bacon, dry cider and a bit of cream – Moules Bretonne is an explosion of flavour that’s impossible to resist. No surprise it’s one of my favourite recipes.

Make sure you don’t miss out on the heavenly sauce in the bottom of the pan, it simply calls out to be soaked up with a piece of crusty French bread!



Mussels with Speck & Cider

Moules Bretonne – Mussels with Speck & Cider

Plump and juicy mussels cooked with smokey bacon, sweet yet dry cider and a bit of cream – Moules Bretonne is an explosion of flavour that’s impossible to resist!


  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 250 g speck
  • 3 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 kg black mussels
  • 300 ml dry cider
  • 200 ml pure cream
  • handful flat parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • crusty French bread, to serve


Serve mussels with thick slices of French bread to soak up all that the lovely sauce.

Serves 2 – 4


  1. Remove rind from speck and cut the meat into 1 cm lardons. Slice shallots and garlic, chop parsley. Clean and de-beard mussels.
  2. Warm the oil in a large heavy-based pan over medium heat. Add speck and cook for a minute or two until the edges start to caramelise. Add the shallot and cook another two minutes until fragrant. Add garlic, thyme and bay leaf and stir to combine.
  3. Increase heat to high, add mussels to the pan and toss to coat with the aromatics. Add the cider, cover and cook a further three minutes until mussels have just opened.
  4. Give the pan a shake to help mussels in the bottom to open then pour in the cream and stir. Add the parsley, season with pepper and stir once more. Cover for a just a minute more to bring back to the boil before serving.


Mussels with Speck & Cider - Recipe CardClick image to download the printable pdf recipe card (1.3MB)


I’ve recently shot a series of some of my favourite classic French recipes and kitchen technique tips. The videos are being released over on my YouTube channel and each recipe, along with a downloadable pdf recipe card for you to keep on file, will also be shared here.

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Recipe as seen in French For Everyone. Photo credit Jennifer Jenner


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