Clam chowder recipe


When people first taste our homemade clam chowder they are always surprised by how much they like it. It has in fact become one of our most requested recipes.

Why is a Montana steakhouse, located at least 1,000 miles from the nearest salt water, not nestled on some hidden tree-lined cove above Puget Sound able to serve what some have called “the best chowder ever made?” The answer is quite simply, the right blend of good ingredients. After all, any soup that combines lots of butter, bacon, and heavy cream is off to a good start. By the time you add just the right amount of clams and russet potatoes to a mix of our soon-to-be-revealed secret ingredients, this recipe alone is worth the price of this book.

In the restaurant we use a good clam base to enhance the flavor (available in some grocery stores) but you can skip this if you wish.

  • Yield: 12 Servings


  • 8 oz sliced thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 3 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp ground thyme
  • 1 tbsp ground tarragon
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 3 tbsp clam base (if available)
  • 2 15½ oz) cans chopped sea clams, undrained
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp worcestershire sacuce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 3 to 4 celery stalks, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 carrots, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 carrots, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, unpeeled and diced (about 5 cups)
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, diced
  • kosher salt to taste
How to Make It
  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, or until translucent.
  2. Add the butter, flour, and clam base (if using) and whisk together to form a light roux. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat until it smells toasty, stirring constantly.
  3. Strain the clam juice from the cans into the pot then add the milk and cream, along with the carrots, celery, pepper and potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are just firm to the bite, around 15 minutes. Finally, add the clams.
  4. Taste for salt and turn off the heat immediately. The chowder is ready to serve hot. (The clams are added at the end to prevent them from overcooking and becoming tough and chewy).

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