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Catholic Recipe: New England Clam Chowder


  • 2 dozen shucked soft-shell clams with liquor
  • 1/4 pound salt pork*
  • 4 to 5 medium-sized potatoes, peeled
  • 4 medium-sized onions, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 quart milk


Serves: 8

Prep Time: 2 hours

Difficulty: • • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:15+



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This is a version of the classic clam chowder.


* On fast days, omit pork and substitute 4 tablespoons vegetable oil. Strain clam liquor through clean cheesecloth; save. Remove bits of shell from clams. Cut away soft parts of clams; reserve. Dice or chop hard parts; keep them separate from soft parts. Cut salt pork in 1/4-inch cubes. Cook in large saucepan over moderate heat until golden brown and crisp. Lift out pork; reserve. Cut potatoes and onions in thin slices. Set potatoes aside; add onions to pork fat in saucepan. Cook over low heat until soft but not brown, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes, salt, pepper, and water with reserved clam liquor and chopped clams. Bring to boiling; simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender — about 1/2 hour. Add soft parts of clams and milk. Heat thoroughly, but do not boil. Garnish with crisp pork bits. Serve with common or pilot crackers. Makes 8 servings.

Recipe Source: Cook's Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965