BBQ Mussels with Anise and Turkish Chilli

Serves 2

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes


Ingredients

1kg live mussels

70 ml anise flavoured spirit, such as Raki

2 tablespoons Turkish chilli flakes

2 shallots, finely sliced

Small bunch tarragon, leaves picked

50g butter, softened

5 cloves garlic, crushed

Plenty of crusty bread, to serve

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Method

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  2. Mussels are quick and easy to cook on the BBQ and take on the flavour of smoke very well. Here they’re steamed with garlic butter and the Turkish spirit Raki, then finished with tarragon and Turkish chilli flakes, which are mild but have incredible flavour. If you can’t find Raki try using cider, beer or white wine and perhaps swap the tarragon for parsley. Never, ever skip the garlic butter, however; mussels and garlic are a time tested match.

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  4. 1. Set up the Outback Jupiter BBQ for briquette cooking. To light, turn the burners on high for around 15 minutes until the briquettes start to turn ashen grey then turn off the burners. The briquettes will continue to burn.

  5. 2. Check the mussels are alive by giving any that are open a sharp tap on the edge of a work surface. If they don’t close - discard them along with any that have broken shells. If they don’t open once cooked they should also be discarded.
  6. 3. Make a parcel for the mussels by making a cross with two pieces of foil, then layering another two pieces on top to make a ‘star’ shape. Scatter over the sliced shallot and add the mussels.
  7. 4. Mash together the garlic and butter, and dot this over the mussels, then pour over the Raki and add 1 tablespoon of the Turkish chilli flakes. Close the parcel, sealing well at the top, using another piece of foil if necessary.
  8. 5. Place directly onto the hot briquettes and leave for 8 minutes. After this time unwrap the parcel (carefully, steam will burst out) to check the mussels have opened. If they have, leave the parcel open and carefully spoon out some of the juices from the bottom of the package, taking care not to pierce it. Sprinkle these onto the hot briquettes then close the lid of the barbecue and cook for a further two minutes, to allow smoke to infuse the shellfish.
  9. 6. Remove the package from the BBQ and divide between two bowls, taking care to share out the juices. Serve scattered with the tarragon leaves and remaining Turkish chilli. And don’t forget the bread!
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About the recipe author

Helen Graves The Author

Helen Graves is an award-winning recipe, food and travel writer with a particular interest in barbecue. She writes freelance for many major food and drink publications and is editor of Pit, the UK's first independent magazine about live-fire cooking. Helen has created a series of exclusive recipes for Outback that focus on maximising flavour for the home cook using lots of spices, fresh herbs and BBQ techniques.