The secret to this easy Cleveland clam bake by chef Jonathon Sawyer at The Greenhouse Tavern is to use ingredients that all have the same cooking time. Pile the ingredients in the exact order he lists below and you'll have a fabulous meal in only 25 minutes!
The Cleveland clam bake is a tradition that dates back to the Revolutionary War, and the lands that were given to that war’s veterans; this land is now better known as The Western Reserve. The Cleveland clam bake combines the the Northeasterner’s penchant for coastal clams and red-skinned potatoes with the Germanic Ohioans’ love affair with sausage-making and corn from the Great Lakes Native Americans. Additionally, Cleveland is the natural stopping point between the East Coast and Chicago to refresh the ice for all seafood ice (as this was before the refrigerated train car) and so the locals got to enjoy the bounty. In the fall months, Ohio consumes more clams per capita (not including tourists) than the populations of most East Coast cities!
- 2 pounds clams, scrubbed clean
- 2 pounds cockles (can omit)
- 1 pound garlic bratwurst, sliced into bite sized pieces
- 2 pounds chicken, sliced into bite sized pieces
- 12 small new potatoes
- 2 ears local corn, each cut into 4 pieces
- 1 head Thaxton’s organic garlic, halved
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- 1 stick butter
- 10 cups broth of choice
- Grilled bread
- 1 cup freshly chopped parsley (garnish)
1. In the bottom of a large pot with a tight lid, melt butter, adding bay leaf and salt. Add potatoes and warm over low heat 2-3 minutes.
2. Add white wine and simmer until reduces to half.
3. Layer in the sausage, chicken and corn in that order.
4. Add broth and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce to simmer until chicken, sausage and corn are cooked through. Approximately 20 minutes on low.
6. Add clams and cockles, add lid, steam for an additional five minutes or until clams are opened. Discard bay leaf and any unopened clams, garnish with parsley and serve.