I’m guessing these are Shark Bay clams, but I’ve no idea what the species is. I’d say they are a little smaller than an American little neck clam – so for my purposes – I needed about 50 clams (approx 1.2kg of bivalves).
First the all important clam broth – immerse your fresh bivalves in 5 cups of cold water, so they are just covered. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. They should open, discard the ones that won’t. Turn the heat off, remove the clam meat from the shells and roughly chop. I return the chopped meat the broth – to allow all of the grit to separate from the meat. Remove the meat from the broth – use a colander – this should allow the grit to remain in the liquid. Then filter the broth through a few layers of muslin or absorbent paper to finally remove all the sand and grit. Set aside. Rinse the pot.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in the cleaned pot and fry 150g of bacon cubes (1 inch thick slice bacon cut into small cubes) till well browned. Remove the bacon, set aside and then fry two leeks – that have been sliced into half thin moons. Stir and fry till clean, but not brown. Add 4 medium potatoes that have been cut into cubes and half a glass of dry white wine (left over Clare valley riesling or similar). Allow the wine to mostly evaporate then add 3-4 cups of the clam broth and 1 bay leave and two sprigs of thyme. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the herbs and when the potato has softened add 2 cups of full cream and the bacon and the chopped clam meat. Season with pepper, it should be salty enough. Allow the chowder to bubble briefly before turning the heat off, rest and cover the soup for at least 30-60 minutes and then reheat just before serving. Scatter with fresh parley leaves if desired.
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