thick slab bacon, unsliced rind removed and cut into 1/3 inch dice
garlic cloves, finely chopped
( 1 tbl)
onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
( 10 ounces)
celery, cut into 1/3 inch dice
( 4 ounces)
green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch dice
( 6 ounces)
carrots, cut into 1/2 inch dice
( 4 ounces)
dried bay leaves
crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lbs
yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 (28 ounce) cans
whole peeled tomatoes with juice, cut into 1/2 inch dice
chopped flat leaf parsley
fresh ground black pepper
- Heat a 4- to 6-quart heavy-bottomed pot over low heat, and add the bacon.
- Once it has rendered a few tablespoons of fat, increase the heat to medium, and cook until the bacon is crisp and golden brown.
- Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat, leaving the bacon in the pot.
- Add the olive oil and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, carrots, bay leaves, oregano, and crushed red pepper.
- Sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until vegetables are softened but not browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and clam broth.
- The broth should just barely cover the potatoes; if it doesn‘t, add enough water to cover.
- Increase the heat, bring to a boil, cover, and cook the potatoes vigorously until they are soft on the outside but still firm in the center, about 10 minutes.
- If the broth hasn‘t thickened lightly, smash a few potatoes against the side of the pot, and cook 1 to 2 minutes more to release the starch.
- Add the tomatoes, and simmer 5 minutes more.
- Remove pot from the heat, stir in the diced clams and parsley, and season with black pepper.
- If you are not serving the chowder within the hour, let it cool a bit, then refrigerate; cover the chowder after it has chilled completely.
- Otherwise, let it sit at room temperature for up to 1 hour, allowing the flavor to meld.
- When ready to serve, reheat the chowder over low heat; don‘t let it boil.
- Ladle into cups or bowls, making sure the clams, vegetables, and bacon are evenly divided.