Bonac Clam Chowder

THE ORIGINAL LESTER FAMILY has branched out over the years, settling out into several different locations in East Hampton.  Each clan has there own clam chowder recipe.  This version is from the "Round-Swamp" Lester's.

  • 1/4 lb. salt pork, finely diced
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 4 cups shucked cherrystone clams, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 1/2 quarts clam juice
  • 1/4 lb. butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  1. Saute´ salt pork in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Add onions, and cook until golden, about 15 minutes.
  2. Layer half of the potatoes on top of the onions and salt pork and continue layering, using half the carrots, then half the tomatoes, half the celery, and half the clams. Top with half the parsley and thyme. Make a second set of layers with remaining ingredients. Add clam juice, reduce heat to low, cover pot, and slowly simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve as is, or add butter and half-and-half, if you want it to be good.