Moules marinières, but definitely not as you know them! London brasserie Maison François jazzes the whole thing up by putting them on a flatbread. Do make extra mussel butter if you can, and keep it in the freezer for other occasions.
Recipe by Maison François, Matthew Ryle.
Flatbreads (if making your own)
The dough needs to be made at least a day in advance, but benefits from up to 3 days of fermenting, so plan accordingly.
Place the flour, water and starter into a stand mixer with a dough hook attached and mix on a low speed for 5 minutes. Turn the speed up slightly, add the salt and mix for 5 more minutes.
Turn out into a lightly oiled container, cover with a lid and leave to prove in a warm place for 4 hours. After each hour, fold the dough – do this by tipping it out onto a clean work surface and stretching the dough from the top up and onto itself. Repeat a few times then place back in the container with a lid to continue proving
To cook the mussels, simply steam them in a little water or white wine in a covered pan over a high heat for a few minutes, until all the shells open (discard any that don’t).
Pick the meat from the shells, then set aside 30g of mussel meat for the butter and the rest for topping the flatbreads.
In a pan, sweat the shallots and garlic in a dash of oil until softened, but without colour. Add the wine and vinegar and reduce by half, then leave to cool.
Meanwhile, finely dice the 30g of cooked mussels. Once cool, place the shallot mixture, butter and diced mussels into a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and whip until fully combined. Taste for seasoning and leave at room temperature if using straight away. If not, roll up in clingfilm and store in the fridge or freezer.
You are now ready to cook the flatbreads. Fire up your pizza oven if you have one or heat your oven as high as it will go with a pizza stone inside. Leave the pizza stone to absorb the heat – having it as hot as possible is key to cooking the flatbreads
Dust a work surface with flour, then shape the balls of dough into flatbreads. You can do this by stretching it out with your fingers or using a rolling pin.
Transfer one of the flatbreads onto a floured pizza peel, then spread some of the butter into the centre, leaving a little rim round the edge. Top with some of the cooked mussels then cook in a hot pizza oven, turning regularly for a nice even colouring. The time this will take depends on how hot your oven is, but it shouldn’t take longer than 8 minutes.