Bonac Clam Chowder

Christopher Hirsheimer

The East Hampton's Ladies Village Improvement Society has published 13 cookbooks since 1896, each one with a different clam chowder recipe. This version is adapted from the 1898 edition.

Bonac Clam Chowder
Natives (Bonackers) of the East End in the Hamptons really know how to make chowder.
Yield: serves 12

Ingredients

  • 14 lb. salt pork, finely diced
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 4 cups shucked cherrystone clams, chopped
  • 14 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 12 qt. clam juice
  • 14 lb. butter, melted (optional)
  • 12 cup half-and-half (optional)

Instructions

  1. Sauté salt pork in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Add onions and cook until golden, about 15 minutes.
  2. Layer half of the potatoes on top of the onions and salt pork and continue layering, using half the carrots, then half the tomatoes, half the celery, and half the clams. Top with half the parsley and thyme. Make a second set of layers with remaining ingredients. Add clam juice, reduce heat to low, cover pot, and slowly simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, about 1 ½ hours. Serve as is, or add butter and half-and-half, if you like.