Most mussels recipes call for steaming the mollusks in a combination of dry white wine and some kind of allium, either garlic or shallots. This one calls for both onion and garlic, but nixes the wine. Instead, mild lager beer lends a toasted, gently bitter flavor that’s wonderful with the butter that’s mixed in right at the end. Serve this with a baguette or other bread for dunking in the broth, which is arguably just as delicious as the sweet mussels themselves.

Also to note: Most mussels you buy at the fishmonger’s have been farmed and are very clean. So there’s no need to scrub or soak or de-beard them unless you’ve harvested them yourself off a rocky, seaweed-laden coast (or are lucky enough to find wild mussels at your fish store). A quick rinse is all the farmed kind need before going into the pot.


2 pounds mussels in shells

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small onion, sliced

Pinch of kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

⅓ cup mild lager or pilsner beer (nothing too bitter; avoid IPAs)

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Crusty bread, for serving


  1. Rinse the mussels under cold running water.
  2. Using the sauté function, on low if available, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in the pressure cooker. Stir in the onion, salt, and pepper, and sauté until the onion is golden, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, another minute. Pour in the beer and bring to a simmer. Add the mussels, cover, and cook on low pressure for 1 minute; then release the pressure manually. Transfer just the mussels, using a slotted spoon, to serving bowls, discarding any that haven’t opened.
  3. Whisk the parsley and remaining 2 tablespoons butter into the pot; then taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Pour the sauce over the mussels, and serve with bread for sopping up the juices.

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