Mussels with Mexican Chorizo is a blend of steamed mussels, boldly seasoned ground pork and fresh, juicy tomatoes. It all comes together quickly in one pot, a delicious swirl of spicy meat and tender mussels in a rich and flavorful broth.
Pork and mussels is not a typical surf and turf combination but it’s right up there with all the great meat and seafood pairings. The salty and slightly sweet flavor of pork with the briny and slightly sweet flavor of mussels is a match made in heaven. If you don’t totally love the flavor of mussels, you’re likely to still enjoy this dish. The flavor of the seasoned pork is what really stands out in this dish.
The seasoning blend for Mexican chorizo in this recipe is a quick and easy version – but still delicious. If you have a little more time then try this version with whole, dried chiles, for more complex flavor. Mexican chorizo is smoky, sweet and can be spicy but doesn’t have to be. It depends on how spicy your chile powder is. If you cook up your pot of chorizo and mussels and it’s not as smokin’ hot as you want it to be, that’s a problem easy to fix. Simply serve sliced jalapeños or hot sauce on the side.
Time in the Kitchen: 35 minutes
2 to 2 1/2 pounds of mussels, cleaned (see below) (900 to 1130 g)
1 tablespoon Ancho chile powder (or other type of chile powder) (15 ml)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (5 ml)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme (10 ml)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (2.5 ml)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (a pinch)
3/4 teaspoon salt (2.5 ml)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (15 ml)
1/2 pound ground pork (230 g)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (30 g)
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound tomatoes, roughly chopped (reserve the juice) (450 g)
Fresh cilantro or parsley to garnish
To clean the mussels, swirl them around in a large bowl of clean water then rinse each mussel individually under running water. Try to rub off anything clinging to the shell. If a stringy beard (that looks like a little piece of seaweed) is still hanging outside of any shells, firmly yank it off with a side-to-side motion. Discard any mussels that are cracked or open.
In a small bowl, combine chile powder, oregano, thyme, cumin, cinnamon and salt.
In a medium bowl, pour half the vinegar and half the spice mixture over the ground pork. Mix really well then add the rest of the vinegar and spices and mix again to make sure all of the meat is evenly seasoned.
In a wide pot over medium heat melt the butter and then sauté the shallots until they start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 20 to 30 seconds more.
Raise the heat to medium-high and add the pork. Cook the pork for only 5 minutes, breaking the meat up into small pieces as it cooks.
Add the tomatoes. Boil for 10 minutes then reduce the heat down to medium again.
Add the mussels and cover the pot. Simmer until the mussels open, about 3 minutes.