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Dutch Oven Clambake

It’s become a Fourth of July tradition in my kitchen to prepare seafood, in the good old New England style. That means we’re doing a clambake – but here, it’s an easy clambake in the kitchen, prepared in a cast iron dutch oven. It’s called a clam “bake”, but what we’re really doing is steaming a whole bunch of clams, lobster (or lobster tails), shrimp, potatoes, sausage, corn and onions until it’s all done…and yes, it really is that easy.

Clams can be stored in the refrigerator for one to two days before cooking. Store them in a container that allows air to breathe. Wait until an hour or two before cooking before adding clams to a bowl of water. This will help remove sand and grit from the clams.
Lobster tails can also be stored for one to two days, but fresh lobster should be purchased the same day as cooking, if possible. Keep the lobster in the refrigerator, in a container that allows air to breathe. The lobster should not be stored in water.

Pans needed: Large stock pot, cast iron dutch oven or cauldron, preferably 12 quarts in size or more. Large bowl or container for mixing cabbage. 1 separate containers for potatoes; 1 container for onions, sausage and corn. Plus containers to store the seafood.

In a large bowl or container, mix olive oil and salt into the cabbage. This will give it the consistency and taste of seaweed when cooked.

In a large cast iron dutch oven, add onion and garlic pieces, and cover with the cabbage. Cut potatoes and lemons into quarters, and place them in the big pot on top of the cabbage. Add wine so the potatoes are almost covered. (If you don't have enough wine, you can add water or chicken broth to bring up the liquid level.) Add the sliced sausage and corn, plus parsley and thyme, and cajun seasoning. Cover pot, turn stovetop to high heat (or 3/4 high on an electric stove). Wait 30 minutes for the pot to come to a boil and begin cooking the potatoes.

The pot should be boiling and steaming, and hot! Add the clams on top of the food, and leave them on top – don't mix them in. Place lobster tails on top of the clams. Place the corn around the edge of the pot. (Don't add the shrimp yet!) Cover pot and cook for 10 minutes.

At this point, melt butter in a saucepan, so it will be ready when the food is done.

After ten minutes, add shrimp in the center of the ring of corn. Cover pot and cook for 5 minutes.

If you're serving whole lobsters with a clambake, I've found it better to cook whole lobsters separately, so you can be sure they are thoroughly done. When the food is ready, add cooked lobsters to the pot on top of everything, and serve. YouTube: New England Steamed Lobster