Clams and cognac are an unusual combination. Using local crème fraiche, probably the best I have ever tasted, this dish turned out to be really yummy!
Rinse and scrub the mussels. Discard the mussels that do not close when you tap them.
Slice the garlic and chop the shallots. Sauté the onion and mussels in butter in a large pot. Add the wine and let the mussels cook under lid for about 2-3 minutes on high heat. Shake the pot a few times during cooking so that all the mussels open.
Add the crème fraiche and XO Cognac and bring it to a boil again. Season the sauce with chopped herbs, salt and pepper.
Serve the mussels in deep bowls with hearty sourdough bread.