Celebrity chef Manu Feildel creates a recipe for one of his favourite dishes that reminds him of a pie from home.


Makes 4

  • 1kg black mussels, scrubbed and bearded
    100ml dry white wine
    1 eschalot, thinly sliced
    1 clove garlic, bruised
    1 sprig thyme
    1 bay leaf
    3 black peppercorns
    100ml chicken stock
    80ml pouring cream
    Pinch of saffron threads
    Freshly ground black pepper
    2 tspns unsalted butter
    1½ tblspns olive oil
    1 small leek, white part only, cut into julienne
    1 carrot, cut into julienne
    1 sheet ready-rolled butter puff pastry, thawed
    1 egg yolk


Discard any mussels with open or broken shells. Place the wine, eschalot, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns in a wide frying pan over high heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the mussels, then cover and shake the pan for 3-4 minutes or until the shells just open.

Remove the mussels using a large slotted spoon as soon as the shells open or they will become tough – some will take longer to cook than others. Place the mussels in a colander sitting over a bowl, discarding any with unopened shells.

Remove the meat from the shells, checking each one and removing any beard still attached to the meat. Strain the cooking liquor through a finemesh sieve over a bowl, leaving any grit behind in the pan. Set aside.

Place the chicken stock, cream, saffron and 50ml of the reserved mussel liquor in a saucepan. Simmer over low heat for 6 minutes or until reduced by half. Season to taste with pepper then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, heat the butter and olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Add the leek and carrot, then cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until just tender.Preheat the oven to 200°C. Divide the leek and carrot mixture and mussels among four 150ml capacity ramekins (mine are 9cm in diameter) or pie dishes.

Pour over the cooled sauce. Using a pastry cutter, cut out four 12cm rounds of puff pastry and place one over the top of each ramekin, pressing down the sides firmly to seal well. Cut four mussel shapes from the remaining pastry and place one on top of each pie.

Place the ramekins on a baking tray, brush the pastry tops with egg yolk and, using a wooden skewer or small knife, make a small hole in the centre of each one to allow the steam to escape. Bake for 12 minutes or until
the pastry is puffed, golden and crisp. Serve.