Posted by Sara on Mar - 20 - 2014 under Soups

3 dozen cherrystone or quahog clams
1/2 cup dry white wine, divided
2 bay leaves
5 peppercorns
8 ounces salt pork, diced
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1/4 cup diced green pepper
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups chicken broth (I used homemade)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 can tomato paste
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 yellow potatoes, cubed
1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Cooking time: 3-4 hours Serving: 6-8 people

Are you ready for it? This stew takes a fair amount time to cook, and there are a few steps, but believe me, it is totally worth it in the end. Think of it as a lesson in patience.


I remember my dad’s mom, Grandma Ruth making this in my mom’s kitchen years ago, despite her arthritis, she stood and chopped, diced, steamed, peeled, fried and tasted all the way to the end.















We all enjoyed this hearty “Manhattan” style chowder, and still find the time to make it occasionally in my home. Of course I tweaked it a tiny bit to my own taste. But all in all the recipe isn’t that much different than Grandma’s.


I like to “clean” the clams before I steam them, this is simply scrubbing them thoroughly, placing them in cold salty water, and letting them sit for a few hours, changing the water once. They open up and start spitting out sand, and every little bit counts. What you see below is a clam opening and the black specks is ground pepper. I read somewhere that pepper will make them spit more. I am not sure if this is an old wives tale or not, but I tried  it anyway.


Bring 5-6 cups of water to a boil in a large stock pot, add the bay leaves, peppercorns and 1/4 cup white wine. Reduce heat to simmer. Carefully place the cleaned clams into the hot water, and turn up the heat to simmer for 10-12 minutes. The clams will open up exposing the yummy yumminess inside.


Remove the clams from the water to cool. Discard any that did not open.


Place a paper towel over a sieve that is on top of a large bowl and pour the water that you steamed the clams over the paper towels to filter out any sand. Reserve. Remove the clam meat from the shells,  chop and set aside. Also reserve the bay leaves.

Wash out the stock pot and sauté the diced salt pork in it until lightly brown.


Remove any grease from the salt pork in excess of about two tablespoons. Add the onion, celery, garlic and green pepper and sauté until they are just beginning to become tender. Add the chicken stock, and two cups of reserved clam juice, the remaining 1/4 cup of wine,  tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs and reserved bay leaves. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer. Add an extra cup or two of water if needed. Stir in the chopped clams, carrots, potatoes and parsley. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Serve with crusty bread or crackers.



Grandma Ruth’s Clam Chowder 2 4.50/5

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