Hello, Good News! If you are a fan of the creamy and delicious Outback clam chowder, you might be wondering how to recreate this dish at home. Well, you are in luck, because in this article, we will show you how to make Outback clam chowder from scratch, using simple ingredients and easy steps.
Outback clam chowder is one of the most popular items on the menu of the Outback Steakhouse chain, which specializes in Australian-themed American cuisine. The clam chowder is a rich and hearty soup that features chopped clams, bacon, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, parsley, and a creamy broth. It is served with oyster crackers or bread for dipping.
What Makes Outback Clam Chowder So Good?
Outback clam chowder is not your typical New England clam chowder. It has some unique features that make it stand out from other versions of this classic soup. Here are some of them:
It uses fresh clams
One of the secrets to making a great clam chowder is using fresh clams, rather than canned or frozen ones. Fresh clams have a more tender texture and a sweeter flavor than processed ones. They also add more natural clam juice to the broth, which enhances the taste and aroma of the soup.
To make Outback clam chowder, you will need about 2 pounds of fresh clams, preferably hard-shell varieties such as quahogs, littlenecks, or cherrystones. You will need to scrub them well under cold running water and discard any that are cracked or open. You will also need to steam them in a large pot with some water until they open, then remove them from their shells and chop them coarsely. You will also need to reserve the clam juice for later use.
It uses bacon
Another ingredient that makes Outback clam chowder so flavorful is bacon. Bacon adds a smoky and salty dimension to the soup, as well as some crunch and texture. Bacon also renders some fat that is used to cook the vegetables and make the roux for thickening the broth.
To make Outback clam chowder, you will need about 4 ounces of bacon, cut into small pieces. You will need to cook them in a large pot over medium heat until crisp, then transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. You will also need to keep about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pot for later use.
It uses heavy cream
The final touch that makes Outback clam chowder so creamy and satisfying is heavy cream. Heavy cream adds richness and smoothness to the soup, as well as a velvety mouthfeel. Heavy cream also balances out the acidity of the tomatoes and the spiciness of the seasonings.
To make Outback clam chowder, you will need about 2 cups of heavy cream. You will need to add it to the soup after adding the clams and simmer it for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened. You will also need to season it with salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and bay leaf.
How to Make Outback Clam Chowder: Step-by-Step Instructions
Now that you know what makes Outback clam chowder so good, let’s see how to make it at home. Here are the step-by-step instructions:
Step 1: Prepare the clams
As mentioned above, you will need to scrub the clams well under cold running water and discard any that are cracked or open. Then, you will need to steam them in a large pot with about 2 cups of water over high heat until they open, about 10 minutes. You will need to discard any that do not open.
Next, you will need to remove the clams from their shells and chop them coarsely. You will also need to strain the clam juice through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth or paper towels and reserve it for later use. You should have about 4 cups of clam juice.
Step 2: Cook the bacon
In the same pot that you used to steam the clams, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Then, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
Keep about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pot and discard the rest.
Step 3: Cook the vegetables
In the same pot with the bacon fat, cook the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and parsley over medium heat until soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Then, sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Step 4: Add the broth and the potatoes
Gradually whisk in the reserved clam juice and the vegetable broth to the pot, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
Add the potatoes and continue to simmer until tender, about 15 minutes more.
Step 5: Add the clams and the cream
Add the chopped clams and the heavy cream to the pot and bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Season with salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and bay leaf. Discard the bay leaf before serving.
Step 6: Serve and enjoy
Ladle the clam chowder into bowls and garnish with the reserved bacon and some chopped chives. Serve with oyster crackers or bread for dipping.
Enjoy your homemade Outback clam chowder while it is hot and creamy!
Outback Clam Chowder Nutrition Facts
Outback clam chowder is a delicious and filling soup, but it is also high in calories, fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Here is a table that shows the nutrition facts for one serving (about 1 cup) of Outback clam chowder:
| Calories | Fat | Saturated Fat | Trans Fat | Cholesterol | Sodium | Carbohydrates | Fiber | Sugars | Protein |
| 397 | 28g | 16g | 0g | 92mg | 1144mg | 26g | 2g | 6g | 11g |
As you can see, Outback clam chowder is not a low-calorie or low-fat option. It also contains more than half of the recommended daily intake of sodium and cholesterol for an average adult. Therefore, it is best to enjoy this soup in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
If you want to make your Outback clam chowder healthier, you can try some of these tips:
- Use low-fat milk or half-and-half instead of heavy cream.
- Use turkey bacon or lean ham instead of regular bacon.
- Use low-sodium clam juice and vegetable broth instead of regular ones.
- Add more vegetables such as corn, peas, or spinach to increase the fiber and vitamin content.
- Use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour to thicken the soup.
Frequently Asked Questions About Outback Clam Chowder
What kind of clams are used in Outback clam chowder?
The best kind of clams to use in Outback clam chowder are fresh hard-shell clams such as quahogs, littlenecks, or cherrystones. These clams have a meaty texture and a sweet flavor that complement the creamy broth well. You can also use canned or frozen chopped clams if fresh ones are not available, but they may have a less tender texture and a less pronounced flavor.
How do you store leftover Outback clam chowder?
You can store leftover Outback clam chowder in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it gently over low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave until hot. Do not boil it or it may curdle. You can also freeze leftover Outback clam chowder in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating it.
Can you make Outback clam chowder in a slow cooker?
You can make Outback clam chowder in a slow cooker by following these steps:
- Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Keep about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the skillet.
- Cook the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and parsley in the same skillet over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Then sprinkle the flour over them and cook for 2 minutes more