New England Traditional Clambake (Stove-top)
Totally traditional New England fare! Picture a bunch of butter covered gluttonous heathens around the wobbly picnic table with kids running around sucking on lobster legs with a piece of corn in the other and a barrel of beer in the shade! Whether we were at the Cape or in our back yards!
  • 2 large or 3 medium onions, cut into large wedges
  • 6 - 10 garlic cloves (I use 10 but that is my preference)
  • 1 bottle of beer (I will leave it to you but a nice Pale Ale is PERFECT, nothing heavy)
  • 1 cup water
  • A steamer OR if you can get it from the docks this summer, fresh seaweed, well rinsed, for layering (optional)
  • 1½ pounds small new potatoes (I use Yukon Gold)
  • 1 pound hot dried chorizo, cut into ½-inch pieces (you can use a nice polish sausage)
  • Coarse Sea Salt (not Kosher, though come to think of it this is probably Kosher...)
  • 3 lobsters (1½ pounds each) (if you cannot get these than four Dungeness crabs which is what we use with a couple of King Crab Legs thrown in)
  • 36 Littleneck (Quahog) clams, scrubbed well (We use Manila Butter clams so we have to do 48)
  • 4 ears of corn, halved (and husked if they came that way)
  • 2 pounds mussels, debearded and scrubbed well (here is a good video to help
  • 1½ pounds Large Shrimp (about 36), with shells intact
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
  • 4-6 lemons, (half two of them and quarter the rest for serving)
  1. Combine onions, garlic, beer, and water in a 16-quart stockpot.
  2. Cover the onions with a steamer basket (if you are able to get seaweed than instead of the basket layer the seaweed here).
  3. Add potatoes, chorizo, and 1 tablespoon sea salt. bring this to a boil.
  4. Add lobsters; cooking over high heat and covered (Ignore their screams!!!) for about 15 minutes.
  5. Add clams and corn; cook, covered, for about 5-6 minutes.
  6. Add mussels and shrimp, cover and cook until the majority of the calms and muscles open up (not all will, and do not serve those!! It is bad luck.. seriously dude!) and so the shrimp are cooked through, 4 to 8 minutes.
  7. Remove seafood, corn, potatoes, and chorizo with tongs (you do not want to manhandle hot seafood and even if you use those special mitts you may mush the potatoes and the sausage could go flying, seriously I have seen it happen! Aunt Elsie was NOT happy!),
  8. Transfer the ingredients in a nice pile in the middle of your newspaper coveredtable (one or two platters or receptacles)
  9. Throw out the clams and muscles who did not open (see above as to why)
  10. DO NOT dump the liquid, that is stock and it is GOLD! Instead put it in a nice wide bowl with semi tall sides, and stir in the butter and the juice if half a lemon!Strain liquid through a sieve into a bowl; add butter and gently fold it in, this will make the stock nice and creamy. Right before serving squeeze and stir in the juice of half a lemon. The other three halves squeeze over the fair.
  11. OH wondering about that newspaper? Well when you are done, you just toss your shells on the table, and it wraps up and is ready for the rubbish bin!
This was something we did EVERY Wednesday after payday (We were paid weekly). As soon as it was fine to have all 20-30 of us out there we would each bring a lobster, beer and our own corn and the host would supply the sausage and steamers! TOTALLY traditional! The kids LOVED to pick their own lobster, we usually got them the ONE CLAW wonders!
Recipe by Cabin Goddess at