Mussels with Brandy, Apples, and Sage

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 6 servings
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 20 mins

Fancy enough for company, easy enough for family.

A sophisticated yet quick and easy stew, this dish is made for a chilly, autumn evening. Or consider it a first course for any dinner party, even your Thanksgiving meal. Because the sage doesn't not cook very long, use only fresh, not dried.


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, halved, washed carefully of any sand, and thinly sliced
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 large tart apples, such as Granny Smith, Northern Spy, or Pippin, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup canned clam juice
1/2 cup brandy
4 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded


  1. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks; cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 minutes.
  2. Add apple; cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Add sage, nutmeg, pepper, and salt; cook 30 seconds.
  3. Pour in clam juice and brandy; bring to a boil. (Should brandy flame, cover pot and set aside off heat 5 minutes.)
  4. Stir in mussels. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until opened, about 8 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open.

Recipe by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough.



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