Mussel Brose

Mussel Brose
3 dozen mussels in shells  
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped leeks  
3 tablespoons flour
½ cups. finely chopped celery  
2 cups milk
½ cup finely chopped onions 
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 sprigs parsley   s
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup hard cider   
ground nutmeg to taste
Clean the mussels and remove their beards.  Make a roux of the flour and butter, add the milk and bring to a boil over a high heat.  Reduce and cook over a moderate heat until the sauce is smooth and thickened.  

At the same time, in a 6-8 quart pot combine leeks, celery, onions, parsley and cider.  Add the mussels, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, shaking the pot from time to time until the mussels open.  

Transfer the mussels to a plate, cover and keep warm.  Strain the stock through cheesecloth and return to the pot.  Slowly pour the sauce into the stock, stir in the cream, season lightly with remaining ingredients. 

Traditionally the mussels are left on the half shell.  Add them, warm and serve.


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