Home to some of Australia's highest vineyards, Mudgee's reputation for cool climate wines of elegance and restraint is on the rise. Chef Andy Crestani of Pipeclay Pumphouse, at the Robert Stein Vineyard & Winery, shows his love for seasonality and nature with a delicate mussel dish. Its light, sea-fresh flavours and orange zest find an equally refined yet enlivening partner in the Robert Stein Farm Series Riesling.
1kg mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 large bulb fennel, reserve some
fronds for garnish
150g butter, chilled, diced
4 eschallots, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 oranges, 1 zested and juiced,
200ml white wine
3 tablespoons baby capers, drained and rinsed
Crusty bread to serve
1. Halve the fennel, dice one half and shave the other half on a mandolin.
2. Heat 50g of butter in a large deep saucepan over medium heat. Add diced fennel and eschallot, cook for 4-5 minutes or until soft and tender. Add garlic and orange zest, cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Increase heat to high, add wine and orange juice. Bring to the boil.
3. Add mussels to pan. Simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until mussels open. Transfer mussels to a bowl.
4. Remove pan from heat, add capers and whisk in remaining butter, a knob at a time, until dissolved and sauce has thickened.
5. Add mussels back to the sauce, add shaved fennel and orange segments.
Toss and serve. Garnish with fennel fronds and serve with crusty bread.
Note: Pot-ready mussels come in 1kg bags. They have been scrubbed and debearded and are ready to cook, with an extended refrigerated shelf life of 10 days.
Robert Stein Farm Series Riesling 2020