Recipe for making bouillon de moules, or mussel stock, at home.
Escoffier mentions using the ‘cooking liquor,’ or broth, from mussels, in Le Guide Culinaire. But as with mushroom stock, there is no specific Escoffier recipe for mussel stock included. You can use the leftover broth from steaming mussels in white wine and lemon. But what ingredients specifically should you use?
This seafood stock is used in making Sauce Normande, and is based on one from the Alinea Restaurant cookbook. You can use either fresh fennel bulbs or fennel seed, depending on what you can get. I used a package of frozen greenshell mussels from New Zealand for this stock, but you could use any type you can find. I like a little extra kick in mine, so I use dry vermouth and a hint of absinthe to flavor the broth.
In a medium stockpot, sauté the mirepoix of onion, celery and fennel (bulb or seed) in butter until translucent. Add the vermouth, absinthe (or any licorice-y spirit), bay leaf, peppercorns and bring to a gentle simmer.
Add the mussels and cover. Steam until the mussels open, about 5-10 minutes. If you are not eating them and want to get the maximum flavor from the mussels, steam for up to 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat, let cool, and strain the broth into plastic containers. Reserve the mussels for another use or for eating!
35g (7 1/2 teaspoons) unsalted butter
100g (2/3 cup) diced onion
100g (2/3 cup) diced celery
100g (2/3 cup) diced fennel bulb, or 4g (2 teaspoons) dried fennel seed
375g (1 small bottle) Dolin dry vermouth
25g (1 ounce, or 1 jigger) La Fée Absinthe Parisienne absinthe
1 fresh bay leaf
12 whole, black peppercorns
1000g (2.2 pounds) fresh or frozen mussels
Salter digital scale
Kitchen knife and cutting board
Medium stockpot with lid
Strainer or chinois
A. Escoffier. H.L. Cracknell & R.J. Kaufmann, transl. Le guide culinaire: the complete guide to modern cookery.
G. Achatz, D. Beran & N. Kokonas. Next Restaurant Paris 1906. eBook: Achatz, LLC, 2011.