2 People Budget Day 1

Mussel in Bacon and breadcrumbs with Frites • Photo by PhilAshley.com

A few years ago we went camping in the South of France, where I tried these delicious mussels sitting overlooking the beach. I’ve tried to recreate them using cheaper everyday ingredients but still keeping the authentic French flavours. Make sure you only use fresh mussels. They should smell faintly of the sea, and you should discard any that are open before you cook them. You should also bin any that don’t open after cooking.

Porridge or Toast

Cheese on toast

Mussels with bacon and frites

Serves 2

Ingredients for the mussels with bacon

1 bag of mussels
1 medium onion finely sliced
3 slices of bacon finely sliced
2 tablespoons of oil
Small handful of parsley
4 crushed garlic cloves
4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
1 glass of wine

Ingredients for the frites

2 large potatoes unpeeled
2 tablespoons of oil
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 190°C.

First get your frites (potato wedges) ready by chopping the potatoes into thin wedges and drizzle oil over them. Mix it together and sprinkle over some salt. Roast for about 20-25 minutes turning at least once to stop them sticking.

Wash and de-beard the mussels leaving then in a bowl of clean water while you pick through to see if they are still closed. Discard any that are still open after you tap them. Next finely chop the smoked bacon and onion.

Add two tablespoons of oil to a large sauce pan and briefly fry the bacon and onion with the crushed garlic cloves.

Finely chop the parsley, saving back a little and add to the bacon, along with the breadcrumbs.

Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In another pan on a high heat, cook the drained mussels in white wine for about three or four minutes, shaking the pan every now and then.

Once the mussels have opened up, add them and the wine juice to the bacon pan, stirring well to combine everything thoroughly. Discard any that haven’t opened.

Serve hot with the frites and maybe a small salad.