|Fresh mussels||6 Pint|
|Onions||4 Small, chopped|
|Fresh thyme sprig/1/4 teaspoon dried thyme||2|
|Freshly ground black pepper||1|
|Dry white wine||1⁄2 Pint|
|Chopped parsley||1 Tablespoon|
|Butter||1 Ounce, blended with 1 tablespoon flour|
|Flour||1 Tablespoon, blended with 1 tablespoon butter|
Scrape and clean each mussel with a strong knife, removing every trace of seaweed, mud and beard.
Wash very well and discard any mussels which do not close tightly.
Melt the butter in a large pan, add the onions and fry until soft but not coloured.
Add the herbs, pepper and wine and then the mussels.
Cover with a tightly fitting lid and cook quickly, shaking the pan constantly, until the mussels open about 5 to 6 minutes.
Lift the mussels out of the pan, discard the empty half of each shell and keep the rest hot in a covered serving dish.
Reduce the cooking liquor to about 1/2 pint (1 1/4 cups).
Remove the fresh thyme, parsley stalks and bay leaf.
Drop the butter and flour mixture into the simmering stock a teaspoon at a time and whisk until the stock is smooth and thickened.
Pour the sauce over the mussels and scatter with plenty of chopped parsley.
Serve with French bread and butter or garlic bread.
Finger bowls are a help as picking up mussels is a messy process.
You also need a dish for the empty shells.