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Portuguese-Style Mussels with Chorizo and Beer



This is a recipe for steamed mussels that takes me back to the time I spent in Portugal a few years ago and incorporates my love for smoky chorizo and beer.


  • 2-3 pounds mussels
  • ½ bottle (about 6 ounces) ale, preferably Sagres if you want to be authentic
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ¼ pound Spanish chorizo or linguiça, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 2 plum tomatoes, crushed (or one 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
  • Salt, to taste
  • Crusty French bread or Portuguese rolls


Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. When the garlic is fragrant, add onion and sausage and brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer; cook for about 2-3 minutes. Pour the beer and mussels into the pot. Shake to combine. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer until the mussels have opened, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and discard any unopened mussels. Season to taste.

Portion out mussels in soup bowls and ladle the sauce over and down into the shells. Garnish with the fresh herbs and serve immediately with lots of crusty bread for sopping up the sauce.