This is a simple recipe, especially if you have leftover Lamb Chili from the night before or you were smart enough to make extra and freeze it for future meals.
The concept for this dish derives from the Seacoast of NH, one of the many places that I lived that had a huge influence in my cooking. There is also some ideas from Washington, D.C. where the food scene is always improving. A big turning point was the addition of Union Market. It’s an amazing indoor/outdoor market with fresh groceries, eating and dining spots plus a lot more. One of our favorites spots is Rappahannock Oyster Bar where you can have some of the freshest raw oysters as well a very tasty menu including their famous Lamb & Clams entree.
We thought we would turn up the heat and do a variation of the steamed little neck clams like my family would make at the beach and add our spicy lamb chili, a hotter version of Rappahannock’s great dish. This is a great dish for an off-season outdoor seafood party.
- 5 pound bag of little neck clams from New England
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 1 red pepper, quartered
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 1 batch of lamb bolognese
- Make the lamb bolognese
- Put the clams in a large tub of cold water with 1/2 cup of flour mixed in, let sit for 30 minutes so the clams spit out any sand
- In a large pot over medium heat add the olive oil and butter, when melted, add the shallots, red pepper flakes, red pepper, rosemary and thyme. Sauté until translucent
- Add the wine and bring to a boil
- Rinse the clams under cold water then add to the pot to steam, this should be about 5-8 minutes, remove the clams as they open, place in a bowl
- Ladle in a few cups of the meat sauce so the clams are filled
- Spoon into seperate bowls and add 1 1/2 cup of additional chili