Mussels in Cider with Dijon, Crème Fraîche, and Tarragon

Renee Erickson

The Whale Wins, Seattle


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 cups dry hard cider
  • 3 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed whole tarragon leaves (no stems)
  • Crusty bread, for serving


In a large, high‐sided saucepan or soup pot, melt the butter over medium‐low heat. When the butter has melted, add the shallots and cook, stirring, until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes.

Whisk in the mustard, add the cider, then increase the heat to medium‐high. Add the mussels and cook, covered, until they begin to open, about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and begin transferring the mussels that have cooked to a large bowl, stirring and prodding until all the mussels have opened and have been transferred to the bowl. (Discard any mussels that do not open).

Increase the heat to high and simmer the cider for 3 minutes, or until it has reduced by about a third. Season the liquid to taste with lemon juice and salt, then reduce the heat to low. Return the mussels to the pot, add the crème fraiche and tarragon, and stir gently until the mussels are warmed through and coated with the cream. Serve immediately, with the bread.


8 servings