Servings: 6 people
- 6 ounces bacon diced
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter 1 oz
- 4 shallots diced fairly finely (about 2/3 cup)
- 1 poblano pepper diced (about 1/2 cup; optional)
- 2 leeks white parts only, cleaned well and chopped (about 3 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Somerset Ridge Traminette
- 1 quart clam juice (4 cups)
- 1 pint heavy cream (2 cups)
- 1 cup milk preferably whole
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and diced
- 2 - 3 dashes store-bought or homemade hot sauce plus more for serving (optional)
- 2 - 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce optional
- 2 pounds fresh quahog or cherrystone clams* chopped, or eight 6 1/2- ounce cans clams with liquid reserved, chopped (if using canned, drain the juice from the clams and reserve it for use in place of some of the clam juice called for above)
- 1 tsp salt or more to taste
- Saltine or oyster crackers for serving
- Heat the bacon in a large pot over medium heat until it renders its fat and browns a little.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pot just before it gets crisp.
- To the same pot, still over medium heat, add the butter, shallots, poblano pepper if using, leeks, and garlic until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the ingredients in the pot and quickly stir to incorporate the flour into the butter.
- Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, without letting the flour brown.
- Add the Traminette wine to the pot, scraping the bottom of the pot to deglaze it, and cook until the wine reduces slightly.
- Add the clam juice (if using canned clams, use the liquid as part of the total amount of clam juice), cream, milk, and potatoes and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Season with a few heavy shakes hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, if using, and gently simmer—_DO NOT LET IT BOIL! until the potatoes are tender, roughly 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add the bacon and the clams to the pot and simmer an additional 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add salt to taste and serve with more hot sauce and the crackers, if desired.