Belgium Ale Mussels with Pomme Frites

December 18, 2012 by Kari Karch

There isn’t many things better than fresh seafood! Our Kenmore in house chef Kari Karch agrees. Learn how to make her Belgium Ale Mussels with Pomme Frites.


preparation time
10 mins

cook time




2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter

0.5 tablespoons Medium Yellow Onion Thinly Sliced

0.5 tablespoons Medium Fennel Bulb, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise

1 tablespoons Fennel seeds, toasted and grinded

1 teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper flakes

0.5 teaspoons Kosher salt

0.25 teaspoons Freshly ground black pepper

1 pounds Italian sausage links, cooked and sliced

1 tablespoons 1/4 cups light Belgian-style ale (such as Duvel or Chimay)

2 pounds Live Mussels, scrubbed and debearded

2 teaspoons Fennel Fronds

0.5 cup Heavy Cream

6 Baking Potatoes, like russets

1 Vegetable or peanut oil


Cooking the Mussels:

Melt butter in a large cast iron skillet or large frying pan over medium heat. When it foams, add onion and fennel, and sweat until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in toasted fennel, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and cook another 2 minutes. Add ale and bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Add mussels and reduce heat to medium. Cover the pan with a large lid and let simmer, shaking the pan occasionally, until mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. As mussels open, remove them to a serving platter with a slotted spoon. Discard any mussels that do not open after 10 minutes. Stir sausage and cream into the mussels' cooking liquid and bring to a simmer. Cook until broth is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour creamy broth and vegetables over mussels, top with fennel fronds and serve with pomme frites.

Cooking the Pomme Frites:

Peel the potatoes, and cut them into batons that are about the length and width of your index finger. Preheat a deep pot of oil to 325 degrees F. For the first fry, deep fry potatoes in the oil for 5 to 6 minutes, or until a light golden color. Do not over load fryer. Fry in 3 batches if necessary. Remove the potatoes using a slotted spoon, and allow them to cool to room temperature. Raise the temperature of the oil to 375 degrees F. For the second fry, deep-fry the potatoes for 2 minutes, or until crispy. Remove potatoes, and transfer into a colander or bowl. While still hot, salt the potatoes.

Kari Karch

Kari Karch is a 19-year veteran of the culinary industry, creator of Kiss the Cook, and the head chef and spokesperson for the Kenmore brand. She has made many notable appearances on ABC Morning News, on WGN, on the Cooking Channel and as a judge for the World Food Championships.