At the same supermarket where we picked up that delicious lobster, we also grabbed a variety of clams. I’ve been wanting to make some New England Clam Chowder, especially since I saw Bobby Flay’s Throwdown with the Brooklyn Chowder Surfer.

I’m a huge fan of clam anything, but especially clam chowder, and even more so, New England Clam Chowder (that’s the creamy style). Why, just yesterday I was talking about how I love dairy. Well Ben Sargent, the Chowda Suhfah (he’s Bostonian), seems to make a mean clam chowder, but doesn’t seem to have posted his recipe anywhere. So, I examined several of his video clips (on Throwdown, on Martha Stewart, and others) and came up with my own recipe. Hopefully, this does his grandfather proud.

Perfect Bowl of Clam Chowder

The major, explicit change is the selection of clams. I excluded Razor Clams, as I despise them — blegh. I also excluded Geoducks because they’re insanely expensive.

Honestly, this is, hands down, the best clam chowder I’ve ever tasted. I was worried it would be too fatty or too salty, but it was absolutely perfect. I’m amazed and will make this many more times in the future.

New England Clam Chowder
adapted from the Brooklyn Chowder Surfer
~makes 12.5 cups (about 8 servings)


  • Clams About to Steam

    Clams (16 Littlenecks, 9 Steamers, 2 Quahogs)

  • 7 oz. (1/2″) diced Salt Pork
  • 4.65 oz Bacon, sliced (4 slices)
  • 3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cups (1/2″) diced Red Potatoes
  • 1.5 cups diced Yellow Onion
  • 1 cup (1/4″) diced Fennel Bulb
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Dill
  • 1/2 tsp. Dry Thyme
  • Heavy Cream (about 4.5 cups)
  • 5 Capers
  • 1/4 tsp. Old Bay
  • 1/8 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper


Mixed, Steamed Clams

1. Spit Clams. Layer clams into large pot (heaviest on the bottom), fill 1/3 height of clams with water. Steam ~10 minutes covered or until lid starts to rattle and hum. Remove clams; strain and reserve stock. Clean steamers and quahogs, roughly chop clams to about 1/2″ pieces, reserve.

Beautiful Clam Stock

2. Render salt pork until golden brown, reserve fat and pork separately. Render bacon, discard fat, reserve bacon.

Chopped Clams 2

3. In a large pot, saute potatoes, onion, fennel, and garlic in salt and oil for about 15 minutes over medium heat, stir every few minutes.

After Saute

4. Add butter, thyme, dill, sea salt, lots of fresh ground black pepper, reserved bacon, and fat from salt pork. Cover contents of pot with enough broth to cover the ingredients plus a bit extra (about 4.5 cups) then double that amount of broth with heavy cream (so about 4.5 cups). Bring to a rolling simmer (do not boil), then cook on very low for 25 minutes stirring intermittently.

5. Add Worcestershire, Old Bay, capers, and clams. Cook another three minutes, taste for seasoning, add additional salt and pepper, as necessary.

Completed New England Clam Chowder

Serve in bread bowl or with crusty bread. Garnish bowl with some of the golden pork fat pieces.

posted by Lon at 01:49 PM Filed under American, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.