Mussel Brose or Mussel Broth is a regional dish of Scotland. The word ‘Brose’ was used to mean a thick broth or old-fashioned potage. In Scotland the most common thickener was oatmeal, and here it gives the distinctive character to this traditional recipe for Mussel Brose. Scotland has very famous mussel beds, producing some of the finest mussels in the world, and if you can source fresh mussels from Scotland they will be wonderful in this broth.
Mussel Brose Recipe
Serves 4 people. Plump up the mussels (and help to clean them) by covering them with cold salted water, adding two handfuls of porridge oats and leaving them to stand in a cool place overnight.
- 2.5 litres mussels (washed and scraped)
- 150ml water
- 150ml white wine
- 3 level tablespoons oatmeal (jumbo rolled oats)
- 30g butter
- 2 shallots (peeled and finely chopped)
- 300 ml milk
- 300ml single cream
- Freshly ground sea-salt and white pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
After plumping them up the night before discard any mussels which are not tightly shut, or that do not shut when tapped. Put the best mussels in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the water and the white wine, cover the pan tightly and put it over a high heat for 6 minutes, shaking occasionally. The mussel shells should open. Strain off the mussels but reserve the juices, water, and wine from the pan. Leave the mussels somewhere until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, bake the oatmeal on a baking sheet in the pre-heated oven until it is golden-brown at 150C. You can also toast them in a dry frying pan.
Use a blunt knife and take the mussels from the shells. To clean and trim, pull out the wiry black strips known as ‘beards’. Heat the butter in a clean saucepan and cook the shallots in it over a low heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking or burning. When the shallots are soft and transparent add the mussels, milk and cream, and gently heat through without boiling.
Put the reserved mussel juice into a small saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce then stir in the toasted and browned oatmeal. Mix well and add to the Brose off the heat – the soup must not boil or it will curdle. Season to taste with sea-salt and white pepper, transfer to a serving bowl, and sprinkle over the chopped parsley and serve piping hot.