New England Clam Chowder
1/4 lb. salt pork (or bacon), diced
1 med. onion, diced (about 1/2 c.)
2 c. potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/2-inch cube
2 c. Clam broth (use liquid drained from canned clams)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 c. whole milk, lt. cream, or half-and-half (better), or heavy cream (best)
2 c. clams, drained and chopped fine (4 small cans)
3 Tbsp. butter
In a Dutch oven, cook the salt pork over medium heat until fat has been rendered. With a slotted spoon, remove the bits of pork and reserve. Add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is transparent, about 5 minutes.
Add potatoes, clam broth, salt and pepper. Simmer until potatoes are tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes.
Add clams and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add milk, butter and reserved salt pork pieces. Heat, but do not allow to boil after milk has been added. Adjust seasoning as required. Serve hot with saltines or oyster crackers.
Note: This chowder may be served immediately, or refrigerated and served the next day. Like most stews and chowders, it seems to improve with age.
Variation: Just before serving the chowder, place the bits of salt pork onto a baking sheet. Bake, in a preheated 400º F. oven, for about 5 minutes, until they are hot and crispy. Ladle chowder into serving cups or bowls, and sprinkle the hot bits on top as a garnish.
Pairs Well With
There are so many wonderful recipes for this chowder, different variations of ingredients and each with its own special flavor. Here's mine taken from a Gorton's Brand cookbook...