Jim's New England Clam Chowder

Recipe by Vic Damoth
SERVES: 8-10
YIELD: 5 Quarts




  • Dice the salt pork into small cubes.
  • I usually slice it into a grid while it is still attached to the skin, then slice across the skin where it attaches to the fat and the cubes pop off easily.
  • Sauté the salt pork in a large 5 quart non stick sauce pan.
  • When the cubes are golden brown strain them from the rendered fat onto a paper bag to drain.
  • Save 4 tablespoons of the liquid fat from the salt pork,then wipe out the sauce pan with a paper towel.
  • Put the fat back in the sauce pan.
  • Dice the large onion into small pieces.
  • Slice the 3 ribs of celery lengthwise then dice it into small pieces.
  • Place the diced onion and celery into the heated pork fat and sauté until the onions are opaque and the celery is a bit soft.
  • Pour the entire can of clams (broth and all) into the onion/celery mixture and bring to a simmer.
  • Place the rosemary into the clam broth mixture.
  • Peel the Maine potatoes OR scrub the red bliss potatoes.
  • Then cut them into 3/4-inch cubes--I like them a bit chunky--and soak them in cold water for about five minutes.
  • Take the stick of butter and melt it in a small sauce pan.
  • Add the 3 tablespoons of flour to the melted butter and stir until well blended.
  • Drain the potatoes and place them into the clam mixture, simmer until al dente.
  • Next, pour the 2 cups of milk into the simmering clam broth mixture and bring back to a simmer.
  • Lastly, swirl the butter/flour roux into the chowder and simmer for about 10 more minutes until the chowder thickens.
  • Remove the rosemary and serve this chowder in big bowls with oyster crackers and the pieces of golden brown pork fat, salt and pepper to taste.
  • NOTE: I don't like my chowder too thick so you may have to adjust the butter/flour mixture.
  • You may skip the butter and use a low-fat margarine.
  • You may also substitute skim milk too (or skip the milk altogether, this is called Point Judith/Rhode Island style!).
  • You may even skip the whole pork fat thing for a healthier recipe.
  • This chowder is so hearty that it stands up well to "healthier alternative" substitutions.