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There are many different opinions regarding what is considered “Down East” Clam Chowder, but where I live on the coast of North Carolina, we’re pretty serious about our clam chowder. Especially when it’s labeled “Down East”.
We made a big pot of this chowder the other day when it snowed (along with these Snowmaretto Cocktails!).
You can tell we don’t get much snow here! That’s me and my friend’s kids being pulled on a tube behind the truck while this chowder was simmering (someone was home to watch it, though!).
I like to catch my own clams and freeze them in the shell… they’re easier to chop and retain their juices. I normally don’t even use water; if you have plenty of juices from the clams you should have enough broth once it has simmered a while. But if you need to add water, by all means, do so.
- 4 ounces bacon slices or salt pork (about 4 slices), chopped
- 3 cups chopped yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pint clams (roughly chopped) in their juices
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (more or less, to taste)
- 6 cups potatoes that are peeled and cut into approximately 1 inch cubes
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
- In a dutch oven or soup pot, fry bacon over medium heat until browned. Add onion and butter. Cook onions until translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add clams with their juices*, Old Bay seasoning and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and simmer for approximately 1 1/2 hours (stirring occasionally), or until clams are tender.
- Add potatoes* and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
- Top with parsley when serving, if desired.
- *If you don’t have enough juices from the clams for a sufficient amount of broth, add enough water to cover ingredients in pot.
- Category: Soup
- Method: Boil
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: down east clam chowder