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Steamed Mussels with Irish Stout and Black Pepper

The rich flavour of Irish stout gives this simple dish of steamed mussels plenty of depth. A spicy kick from a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper balances everything nicely. Mussels are a great choice when having a crowd over, because it takes only minutes to steam a large amount. About ½ pound (225g) per person is a good size for an appetizer, or you can serve 1 pound (454g) per person with a side of french fries for a main course. Have some Irish soda bread on hand for sopping up the delicious broth left in the bowl.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 mins


  • 2 lbs mussels
  • 1 med sized onion, thinly sliced
  • 70 g butter
  • 300 ml Guinness or other stout beer
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • 1. Rinse the mussels in cold water and then remove any hanging threads (the “beards”) using scissors or a quick tug. If any mussels are open, tap them with a spoon and if they don’t immediately close, discard them.
    2. Melt the butter in a large pot on medium-high heat and then add the onions. Sweat the onions until they are translucent and then add the beer & black pepper. Add the mussels to the pot, cover and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally. They are ready when all the mussels are open, about 5 to 8 minutes.
    3. Serve with bread and french fries.


Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador, are said to be very similar in appearance with rolling hills, and jagged cliffs.