Monday, 29 April 2013

Belgo's - more than just great beer

A recent holiday that took us to the UK, Dublin and New York gave us the chance to revisit some old haunts and explore a few unknowns. 

In the backstreets of London, a little walk from Covent Garden, is an underground Belgian beer hall that serves fantastic food.  I've visited Belgo's a few times; drawn to the unbelievable variety of beers.  The restaurant is a chain with another 4 locations in London but the vibe in the Covent Garden branch does it for me.  On my recent visit, instead of my usual mussels and chips, I decided to go for the rotisserie chicken, which was succulent, full of flavour and more importantly perfect with my selection of beers.  I've always been incredibly impressed with the place, possibly swayed by the fact that I'm normally in beer fest mode.  If you like beer and some something to nibble on at the same time, Belgo's is a must.

They gave me a mussel recipe that they reckon is one of their best.

Moules Monroe

  1. 1kg fresh mussels
  2. 4 tsp flat-leaf parsley
  3. 100g shallots, finely sliced
  4. 150ml Leffe Blond or similar (and a few more to sustain the chef)
  5. 80g smoked pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, cut into matchstick sizes
  6. 30g unsalted butter
  • clean the mussels properly, remove beards by pulling off and take off barnacles by tapping against the sink 
  • give any open mussels a firm tap and they should close - if not throw away
  • get a large pan, heat butter, add bacon and fry for 4 mins
  • add shallots, half the parsley and cook for another 2 mins
  • add mussels and pour beer over, put a lid on and cook for around 5 mins, until the mussels open
  • serve with chips, mussels and beer

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