CAST IRON NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER
A beautiful soup in all it’s glory.
A Beautiful Soup that goes with anything!
Like chili, Clam Chowder is likely to inspire a debate over how it’s prepared. Being a chowder lover, I managed to run into a cook at one of the local food emporiums who hailed from Boston and brought his Family recipe to the menu. I never managed to wheedle the recipe out of him, but really wanted to duplicate his fine family soup. Running across a recipe in my autographed Dean and Deluca cookbook which described most of the calm chowder as either too thin or akin to sludgy book paste, it looked like the way to go. Dragging out the Lodge Dutch Oven, I decided to have a go at it. I wasn’t disappointed but it needed a few more clams ( My taste, not the wife’s whose not a seafood lover ). If you love clam chowder, this recipe is definitely worth a look.
New England Clam Chowder
Wash the clams in cold water in a colander and transfer to a 5 qt. dutch oven. Cover with enough cold water to 2" above the clams. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat.
Remove the open clams to a bowel and let the unopened ones cook for a few more minutes. If they haven't, discard them.
Reserve 3 cups of the clam broth fro the chowder. The rest can be frozen for further use at a later date. Pour the milk and the cream into a saucepan, and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes until reduced.
While the milk and cream are reducing, peel and dice the potatoes and place into a large pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil until just fork tender. Drain and set aside.
Place Bacon into the Dutch Oven, heat to medium and let bacon cook until it crisps. Remove bacon from pan, set aside, and pour off excess fat leaving about a tablespoon and a half of the rendered fat.
Add onions and celery and cook at medium until soft. Add bacon back in and stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes stirring to keep the mixture from sticking. Add reserved calm broth, bring to a boil and stir well.
Add potatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add reduced cream / milk to pot and let simmer. Cut clams into quarters.
Add cut clams, canned clams, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a few minutes more and serve. We served this in mini cast iron cauldrons in keeping with the cast iron theme, plus it keeps the soup hot while finishing the plate. Enjoy!