September 10, 2008

New England Clam Chowder

2 quarts of clams

1/4 pound salt pork (see note)

2 cups of finely cubed potatoes

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon of flour

Reserved clam juice plus enough water to make 2 cups

1 teaspoon of thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

2 cups of milk

2 cups of heavy cream

3 tablespoons of butter

Open clams and reserve the juice. Cut salt pork into a fine dice, then chop it. Cook pork over low heat in a large kettle until it begins to brown. Add potatoes and cook 3 or 4 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add onion and stir until potatoes and onion are soft but not brown.

Sprinkle in the flour. Add clam juice and water, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer.

Chop the clams and add to simmering soup. Let it cook 20 to 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add milk and cream and bring to boiling point, but do not allow to boil. Correct seasoning.

Just before serving, stir in butter and serve when butter has melted.

Note: Use pancetta as a modern substitute for salt pork.

Serves 6.

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