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Lager-Steamed Clams with Applewood-Smoked Bacon

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You can grill ‘em, bake ‘em or suck ‘em down raw, but we prefer clams steamed in New England Brewing’s Elm City Lager. Soak your bounty in a generous helping of applewood-smoked bacon broth, and serve with crusty bread and a cold, crisp lager to savor the experience of a New England summer.

Makes: 4

Ingredients:
  • 3 pounds steamer clams
  • 1 12-ounce can Elm City Lager
  • 4 strips applewood-smoked bacon,
  • chopped in half-inch chunks
  • 1 medium onion, diced medium
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • sea salt and cornmeal for cleaning

Instructions:

• Several hours before cooking, place clams in a large bowl; add cold water to cover, plus a few tablespoons of sea salt and a fistful of cornmeal to dislodge the sand in the clams. Let the steamers soak while refrigerating, changing the water mixture once or twice. Before cooking, rinse steamers under cold water, scrubbing the shells lightly with a stiff brush.

• Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from pot.

• Add onion to pot, and sauté until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and thyme, sautéing 1 minute more. Pour in beer, and bring to a boil. Add clams and cover tightly; raise heat to medium-high, and steam 6 to 8 minutes, or until clams just open.

• Use a slotted spoon to transfer clams, bacon and onion to individual serving bowls. Discard any unopened clams. Pour broth through a fine sieve into a medium bowl to remove any lingering sand.

• Pour broth over clams and serve with crusty bread.


 

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