In episode 1 of Sourced, I travel to Connecticut to meet with the one and only Brad Leone of the hit show, "It’s Alive." We catch blue crabs at night and dig for clams during the day.
To celebrate a great day on the water, I created this seasonal steamed clam recipe, complete with smoky garlic sausage, charred peppers and tomatoes, and fresh sweet corn.
- 3 lbs. clams (30-32 littlenecks)
- Olive oil
- ½ lb. loose smoked garlic sausage (recipe below), or ¼ lb. dried Spanish chorizo
- ½ small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3 large tomatoes
- 1 ear corn
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- 2 tsp. tomato paste
- Pinch sugar
- ¼ tsp. red chile flakes
- Fresh minced parsley garnish
- Crusty sourdough bread
Smoked Garlic Sausage
- 2 lbs. lean stew meat, such as venison, cut into 1” cubes
- ½ lb. pork fatback, cut into 1” cubes
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 ½ tsp. smoked sea salt
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. red chile flakes
Also works with
- Scrub the clams clean and keep in a bowl inside the refrigerator until ready to cook. Don’t soak or “purge” in a bowl of water or you’ll lose the natural clam juices.
- Over a hot grill or under a broiler, roast the tomato just enough to char the outside, then remove and roughly chop. Place the ear of corn on the grill and char on all sides, then remove and cut the kernels away from the cob. Set aside.
- In a large, wide pot over medium-high heat, add a small drizzle of olive oil. Add the sausage and cook until brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the sliced onion and cook until soft and translucent. Next, add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Deglaze the pan by pouring in the wine, scraping up browned bits from the bottom. Bring the wine to a simmer, then add the tomatoes, corn, paprika, tomato paste, pinch of sugar, chile flakes, and a couple pinches of salt. Reduce heat to low.
- Add the clams and cover with a lid to steam until all of the shells open, about 15 minutes. Discard any that do not open.
- Serve in a large bowl for sharing and ladle sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with bread to soak up the flavorful broth.
Smoked Garlic Sausage
- Place the garlic in a mortar and pestle and sprinkle with some of the salt. Pound until you reach a paste, then add the remaining spices.
- Mix the garlic paste in with the cubed meat and fat until fully blended. Spread across a sheet tray and transfer to a freezer to chill for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Run the chilled meat through a meat grinder twice, the first time through the large die, the second through the fine die. You can add ½ cup of ice-cold liquid (such as ice water and/or red wine) to make a bind for stuffing, or omit the liquid and keep it loose for recipes like this.