Pick Your Own Mussels In Snowdonia!
If you have ever fancied trying your hand at collecting and cooking mussels, then a trip to Llandanwg beach just outside Harlech is where you need to go. Even if you do it just once in your life, it’s one of those things you wont forget. So come on, get involved and pick your own mussels in Snowdonia!
YOU WILL NEED:
2 blunt knives
A grill to put over the open fire
A large pot to cook in
Cream (single or double)
WHAT TO DO:
- Check the tide times. You need to collect mussels at low tide.
- Go to the furthest left hand side of Llandanwg beach where you will see lots of rocks.
- You need to make your way down to the waters edge to the rocks covered in black seaweed.
- The mussels hide under this black seaweed; both on the rocks and the sea floor.
- You just need to look underneath the seaweed to find your mussels.
- Remember the mussels you pick at this stage are not the nice black ones you get in restaurants and supermarkets, but covered in white incrustations and barnacles.
- Once picked, you need to put into the bucket and cover with seawater.
- Transfer the mussels into some fresh water (we drove to the nearest river).
- Taking a blunt knife, you need to scrape the beards (the stringy parts that attach the mussel to the rocks) and the barnacles off. You will want a friend to sit and gossip with whilst doing this as it can be time consuming!
- Once done, again take them to the river and swill the mussels around in fresh water to ensure you have cleaned them properly; sandy mussels are not the best!. We put them through roughly 8 sets of clean water.
- Make a fire pit by taking stones from the beach and light a fire.
- Put your grill over the fire and taking the cooking pot, fry some onions and garlic adding a splash of wine
- Tip the mussels in and cover (it is the heat and steam that opens them).
- After a couple of minutes, add some cream (single or double), stock and lots more wine.
- Stir altogether for 3-5 minutes and hey presto you have mussels fit for a WELSH LORD!
REMEMBER: if any mussels are still closed when they come out of the cooking pot, discard them as it means they are not safe to eat.