Steamed mussels and cider are a perfect flavour combination - and ethical and economical to boot.
Heat the oil in a large, flat pan and fry the onion with the bay leaf, crushed peppercorns and garlic. Thoroughly wash the mussels, discarding any that are heavy, broken or that remain open when tapped.
Add the cider to the pan and bring it to a gentle boil. Add the mussels, cover the pan tightly with a lid and steam for 2-3 minutes, or until the mussel shells start to open. (Discard any mussels whose shells remain closed.)
Serve in bowls with bread to mop up the lovely broth.
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Nigel uses seasonal produce to prepare dishes that will brighten any winter table.