When it comes to classic New England cuisine, there are few dishes more iconic than a piping hot bowl of clam chowder. And when you’re on the hunt for the best of the best, there’s no better place to turn than the Union Oyster House in Boston.
This oyster house has been serving up delicious seafood since 1826, and their clam chowder recipe is a real standout. Creamy, hearty, and full of briny ocean flavor, this is the kind of meal that will warm you up from the inside out.
So why not bring a taste of history into your own kitchen? This oyster house clam chowder recipe may require a little bit of effort, but I promise you—the results are more than worth it. So crack open a bottle of Worcestershire sauce, grab your potatoes and clams, and let’s get started.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Friends, let me tell you why you’ll fall head-over-heels for the Oyster House Clam Chowder Recipe. They say experiences and memories are tied to our taste buds – so what better way to create some fond ones than with a hearty bowl of chowder?
This recipe packs the perfect blend of flavors that will make your taste buds sing. You’ve got diced potatoes cooked to perfection and tender clams bathed in their own succulent juices. But wait, there’s more! We’re not done yet – this rich soup is laced with onions and salt pork, making it an explosion of savory goodness.
Can you imagine the smell wafting through your house as this soup cooks on your stove? The aroma alone will have your mouth watering all day. And when you finally take that first spoonful of steaming hot chowder, creamy and brimming with flavor, you’ll feel the warmth going all the way down your belly. Trust us when we say, it is perfect for a cozy night in or impressing guests with an unforgettable meal.
And if this hasn’t convinced you yet, let me fill you in on one detail: this recipe has been passed down through generations by the famous Union Oyster House in Boston – need I say more? The legacy and tradition alone should be enough to make you want to give it a go.
So give in to those cravings you didn’t even know you had and make yourself a big pot of Oyster House Clam Chowder. Whether it’s winter or summer, rainy or sunny, this dish is sure to warm your heart and make any occasion a memorable one.
This recipe is as New England as it gets, and my ingredient list is sure to deliver! You’ll be needing:
- 4 lbs of baking potatoes, like Russets, peeled and diced
- 1 onion diced
- 6 oz skin salt pork diced
- 2 cups of frozen clams
- 2 cups of clam juice
- 1 cup of half-and-half
- ½ cup of flour
- ½ cup of butter
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Don’t worry if you can’t find fresh clams; frozen ones work just fine. But, try to get them shell-free. The pork adds an amazing flavor and relieves the need for additional salt. As for flour, it thickens the broth so that you can enjoy a hearty bowl every time.
The Recipe How-To
Step 1: Cook the Potatoes
First things first, we need to attend to the potatoes. Bring potatoes and clam juice to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the potatoes cook for about 20 minutes or until tender. Make sure you don’t overcook the potatoes, or they will turn mushy.
Step 2: Cook Salt Pork
Meanwhile, we can cook the salt pork. Dice the salt pork into medium-sized pieces and sauté it in another saucepan over medium heat until slightly browned and crispy.
Step 3: Add Onions to Salt Pork
Next, add diced onions to the salt pork and sauté for 5-6 minutes or until the onions are translucent and soft.
Step 4: Add Flour-Butter Mixture
Combine 2 tablespoons of butter with two tablespoons of flour in a separate bowl, and add this mixture to the onions and salt pork. Continue to stir constantly for five minutes, so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan.
Step 5: Add Clams
Add two cans of clams along with their juice to the pot of potatoes and give it a good stir. You can also add fresh shelled clams if that’s what you have on hand but make sure you have a cup of clam juice prepared beforehand.
Step 6: Bring Everything Together
Next, combine the onion-salt pork mixture from step 4 to the pot with potatoes and clams. Bring everything together over medium heat, making sure all ingredients unify properly.
Step 7: Finish with Half-and-Half and Worcestershire Sauce
Lastly, pour in half-and-half (1/2 liter) in addition to Worcestershire sauce (1 tablespoon). Let the flavors mingle on low heat for another couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, making sure they blend perfectly together.
Substitutions and Variations
Now, for those who like to tinker with their recipes or have dietary restrictions, let’s talk substitutions and variations.
If pork isn’t your thing, you can always swap it out for bacon or turkey bacon to give it that smokey flavor. Be sure to chop the bacon into small pieces and cook until crispy before adding it to the chowder.
For a vegetarian option, swap the clams for chopped mushrooms or oyster mushrooms. The mushrooms will provide that desired texture and enhance the umami taste of the chowder.
To make it gluten-free, replace the flour with corn starch or arrowroot powder. However, I must warn you that this substitution may alter the consistency of the chowder.
If you’re watching your calorie intake, swap half-and-half with whole milk or almond milk. Just keep in mind that it might not be as creamy as the original recipe, but just as delicious!
For a spicy kick, add some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. You can also add a small amount of hot sauce to each bowl of chowder when serving to ensure everyone gets their heat level of preference.
Lastly, you can also customize this recipe by adding leeks instead of onions or adding diced carrots along with potatoes. These variations will bring an extra depth of flavor to your chowder.
Remember, cooking is all about experimenting and trying new things- feel free to test out some of these alternatives and make this recipe your own!
Serving and Pairing
Once you’ve cooked your Oyster House Clam Chowder to perfection, get ready for a mouthwatering treat that pairs well with crusty bread and a green salad. The creamy and savory soup creates a warming and comforting experience that is perfect for colder days.
I love enjoying this clam chowder with a glass of white wine or a cold beer, which balance out the richness of the dish. For white wine, I suggest trying a dry Riesling, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc. For beer, grab an IPA or porter to play off the saltiness of the clams.
If you want to add some more texture to your chowder, try serving it with oyster crackers or croutons. Or, top it off with some fresh herbs like parsley or thyme to add more depth to the flavor profile.
As for other pairings, this classic New England clam chowder goes well with seafood appetizers such as shrimp cocktail or oysters on half-shell, grilled fish or scallops. But really, it’s a meal in itself that can be enjoyed anytime – lunch or dinner.
So, indulge in a steaming bowl of creamy goodness and don’t forget to share some chowder saying words that make everyone crave this iconic dish!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Being able to prepare meals in advance can save precious time on busy nights. This is why I suggest making a large batch of Oyster House Clam Chowder and storing it for later use. The key to successful make-ahead meals is proper preparation and storage techniques.
Storing your Oyster House Clam Chowder is simple; you can keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze it for up to three months. Before you store it, make sure the chowder has cooled down completely, which might take some time depending on the amount of soup you have.
When reheating clam chowder, slowly heat it over low-to-medium heat until it reaches the desired temperature. Do not reheat the soup quickly as this can cause burning or altering its texture. Stirring occasionally will help distribute the heat well and prevent sticking in the bottom of the pot.
To get the best result when reheating, add a little bit more half-and-half or milk to your chowder as it retains moisture and gives your soup its creamy texture without any floury residue. You may also add a bit of extra salt and pepper if needed.
Oyster House Clam Chowder needs gentle reheat, so be vigilant while microwaving as overheating can lead to separation of liquids and solids. In case the soup gets too thick after freezing, add a little bit more half-and-half while reheating to achieve its original consistency.
By keeping these steps in mind, you can now save time by preparing larger batches of Oyster House Clam Chowder while enjoying its rich taste repeatedly without having to spend hours making it each time anew.
Tips for Perfect Results
As someone who has had plenty of bowls of clam chowder, I can tell you that a few small tips will make all the difference when it comes to the quality of the dish. Here are my top tips for making oyster house clam chowder to perfection.
Firstly, make sure to cook the potatoes just right. Bring the potatoes and clam juice to a boil and let them cook until tender but not too soft. It’s crucial not to overcook the potatoes because they will continue cooking in the soup after you add the clams.
Another tip is to cook the onions and salt pork slightly before adding them to your main pot. Doing so will ensure that they release their flavor more effectively.
With regard to clams, fresh are always best, but frozen clams also work well. Just be sure to thaw them first and reserve any additional juices from shelling.
When preparing the soup base, be sure not to overdo it with flour or it will become too thick. Stirring in half-and-half adds richness while still maintaining a good soup consistency.
Finally, while it may be tempting to take shortcuts or substitutions with ingredients, such as using regular milk instead of half-and-half or leaving out Worcestershire sauce altogether, I would not recommend doing so. It’s these minor ingredients that add up into making a great tasting soup.
By following these tips, you’ll cook up one genuinely delicious oyster house clam chowder recipe that will give any seafood lover a reason to keep coming back for more!
In conclusion, the Oyster House Clam Chowder Recipe is an excellent dish for anyone who loves delicious and hearty soups. This recipe is full of rich flavors and creamy goodness that will make you crave a steaming cup of soup even on the hottest of days. The recipe directions are simple and easy to follow, making it perfect for novice cooks and experienced chefs alike.
Whether you’re looking for a weeknight dinner, a comforting lunch, or a warm meal on a chilly day, this recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings. So why not give it a try? Who knows, you might just discover your new favorite dish!
Don’t forget to experiment with different variations and substitutions to create your own unique take on this classic recipe. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try incorporating some of the other seafood chowders and stews mentioned in this article, like the Grand Central Oyster Stew or the Manhattan Clam Chowder.
In short, the Oyster House Clam Chowder Recipe is the perfect comfort food for any occasion. So gather your ingredients and get cooking! Your taste buds will thank you.
Oyster House Clam Chowder Recipe
- 2 lbs potatoes, diced
- 64 ounces clam juice
- 4 lbs freshly cooked clams or 4 lbs frozen clams, diced
- 4 ounces salt pork
- 2 small onions, diced
- 8 ounces butter
- 2 ounces flour
- 32 ounces half-and-half, scalded
- hot pepper sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- oyster crackers, for garnish
- Bring potatoes and clam juice to a boil. Cook until potatoes are done. Add the clams, along with any surplus juice. Cook until tender, careful not to overcook and toughen the clams. Set aside.
- Skin the salt pork, dice it, and saute in a pan. Cook until rendered. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add butter, melt, and cook slightly. Add flour. If mixture is too loose, add a little more flour. Cook until slightly colored.
- Bring clams, juice and potatoes back to boil. Add cooked flour and salt pork mixture. Sauce will thicken, so stir often. Bring to a rolling boil. Add previously heated half-and-half to desired consistency. Season, to taste, with salt, pepper, hot pepper sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Serve with Oyster crackers.
Your Own Notes
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Mishra Vikas is a digital nomad who loves to explore the world and learn about its cultures. As a programmer, backpacker, and cook, he enjoys sharing his adventures and cooking up delectable dishes. Writing about his experiences, creating tasty recipes, and discovering new places are some of his favorite activities. He’s an avid traveler and passionate chef, always on the lookout for an exciting new journey.