Ale-Steamed Mussels with Fennel & Hot Italian Sausage

• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 shallot, diced
• 2 tbsp minced garlic
• 1/4 fennel bulb, thinly shaved
• 1/2 lb hot Italian sausage
• 2 lbs farm fresh Maine mussels
• Sea salt
• Black pepper
• 1 cup of beer (white ales like Allagash White work great)
• 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cubed
• 2 tbsp chopped fine herbs (equal parts mix of parsley, chives, & tarragon)
• Fennel fronds (leftover from bulb) for garnish
• Garlic toast (any nice bread toasted, with butter, garlic & dried parsley)

• Heat a large pan to medium. Add 2 tbsp olive oil.
• Add diced shallot and sauté until translucent.
• Add minced garlic, shaved fennel, and sausage. Sauté until meat is browned. 
• Adjust heat to high and add mussels. Season with sea salt, black pepper, and add beer. 
•Top mussels with cubed butter and fine herbs. Cover and steam mussels until they open (3-5 min).
• When mussel shells open, remove cover and gently toss them in the pan. Set mussels aside for plating. 
• Continue to heat pan sauce on high to reduce for about one minute.
• Arrange mussels in serving dish, and top with reduced pan sauce and sausage. Garnish with fennel fronds, and serve with garlic toast. Enjoy immediately.