New England Clam Bake

So this is kind of a modified clam bake…I am a born-and-bred New Englander who is allergic to shellfish – the crawly kind, at least.  So no lobster, shrimp, crab, etc.  Seems sacrilege, doesn’t it?  But clams and mussels?  It’s on.  So when I do a clam bake, it’s unfortunately not traditional – no lobster and no shrimp.  Still delicious though!  Who can complain about clams and smoked sausage?  I throw in some corn and potatoes, a good crisp beer…summer in Connecticut. 🙂



  • 1 1/2 pounds kielbasa
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, well cleaned (2 leeks, white parts only)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds small potatoes (red or white)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 lb clams (mix is best…steamers + wild)
  • 2-3 ears of corn, halved
  • albs mussels (depending on how many you’re feeding…just a few you can do clams only)
  • 2 cups good dry white wine OR beer – I prefer beer!  I think beer goes best with my clams-only, and wine with mussels, lobsters, and friends. :)’
  • To taste: parsley, pinch saffron, red pepper flakes


Slice the kielbasa diagonally into 1-inch thick slices. Set aside. Saute the onions and leeks in the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed 16 to 20 quart stockpot over medium heat for 15 minutes, until the onions start to brown.

Layer the ingredients on top of the onions in the stockpot in this order: first the potatoes, salt, and pepper; then the kielbasa, corn, clams, and mussels (if using). Pour in the white wine. Cover the pot tightly and cook over medium-high heat until steam just begins to escape from the lid, about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook another 10 minutes. The clambake should be done. Test to be sure the potatoes are tender, the lobsters are cooked, and the clams and mussels are open.  Serve with good crusty bread to soak up the broth.


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