Corn, Bacon, and Clam Stew

By • August 25, 2010 53 Comments

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Food52 Review: We tend to think of one-pot meals as limited to cold wintry nights. But some of the best one pot meals, like paella and clam bakes, are made for summer time. Matt Greco, the chef at Char No. 4 in Brooklyn, came up with a marvelous corn dish that’s layered into a braising pot on the stove (though you could also do it out on your grill if you’d like.). Matt browns bacon (he makes his own, of course, but you should use whatever kind you like from the grocery store), then adds smoked paprika, corn, and bourbon. To finish the dish, he nestles littleneck clams into the corn, letting them steam open right in the pot, and showers the dish with chopped basil. Summer squared. - A
The Editors

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 6 ears corn, shucked and cut from the cobs
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 pound sungold yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
  • half of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 16 littleneck clams, scrubbed well
  • 8 thick slices country bread, for serving
  • small handful basil leaves, torn
  1. Place a large, deep heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the oil and bacon, and cook until the fat is rendered and the lardons are browned. Stir in the paprika and cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the corn, season with salt, and stir, cooking for about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cover. Cook until the tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon and pour in the bourbon, stir, and turn off the heat. Add the clams with the mouth facing up. Turn on the heat to medium, cover the pot, and cook the until the clams open, 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grill or toast the bread. Remove the pot from the heat, sprinkle with basil, and bring the bread and the pot -- and a trivet -- to the table for serving.

More Great Recipes: Cherries|Fish|Corn|Fish & Seafood|Stews

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Comments (53) Questions (0)


27 days ago Mallory

I know there's no real substitute for bacon...but any ideas? Or would it be decent without the bacon?


about 1 month ago James Yedinak

Just so happens that I planted sun golds this year and the sweet corn is just now coming in in SW Pennsylvania. This recipe is awesome. I now have 4 'must haves' that define summer. BlackBerry pie, Mexican street fair corn, a tomato sandwich and this.


about 1 year ago Jaclyn Rachel

Is there a suggested substitute for the bourbon? Something non-alcoholic...


over 1 year ago hookmountaingrowers

Beautiful dish combining smoky, sweet and salty. Brilliant. Used 1/2 Tbs smoked paprika (not sweet) as other reviews mentioned and cognac instead of bourban. I served over rice but I see works probably better with crusty bread. My 2 year old enjoyed it as well. Did it without cherry tomatoes since they are not yet in season but looking forward to trying it again soon when the sungolds come out. Thank you for this great recipe!


about 2 years ago David J. Stern

This was a wonderful dish. However, I might go a little lighter on the smoked paprika. It pushed the dish a little far in the direction of dark. Otherwise, great dish!


about 2 years ago kath1

This was delicious, thanks Matt. I used mussels instead, too landlocked for clams. I think it would be amazing with chorizo (the raw cured sausage not the minced meat or sliced sausage) instead of bacon and will try that next time.


about 2 years ago Monica M

This looks amazing!


about 2 years ago Canuck

Can you add other stuff like prawns and mussels?


about 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.



over 2 years ago ElisaLouk

I made this for a girls dinner party and it came out just as beautifully as the picture!! Super yummy. The yellow cherry tomatoes were new to me and SO good. Plus, anything that has a half pound of bacon can't be that bad!


over 2 years ago QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

Cannot wait for summer to make this dish!


over 2 years ago Jenelle Berry

could I substitute mussels in the dish?


over 2 years ago htan

I've made this a few times and its ALWAYS delicious!! my favorite thing to do with clams in the summer


over 2 years ago Digitalmikey

Made it a couple of times now and always liked. It's also great due to the simplicity and the quick cooking time!


about 3 years ago rochelle123

This was excellent!! I reduced the smoked paprika to 1/2 T as suggested by another reviewer. These were the flavors of August!


about 3 years ago joycew

made this with a couple of changes based on what was on hand. subbed in red cherry tomatoes and scotch for bourbon and a few shrimp. it didn't need any additional salt with the bacon. pretty and delicious. leftovers reheated nicely for lunch the next day. will definitely be making this again, perhaps with a combo of mussels and shrimp.


about 3 years ago Tess Danesi

This was wonderful. I added some small red potatoes and since we were out of bourbon used what was on hand - tequila. It was met was rave reviews. The next day, I added the leftovers to a salad with quinoa and feta. Totally fabulous and simple to prepare.


about 3 years ago student epicure

absolutely delicious! i actually completely forgot to add the bourbon and it was still very good.


about 3 years ago Texas Ex

Delicious dish made according to the recipe. Wonderful layers of flavor, and I was pleasantly surprised the smoked paprika, bacon and bourbon shared the stage so well. Thanks!


over 4 years ago peppertree

Just made this, and let me tell you... You will find heaven in this dish!


almost 5 years ago SuzChef

We had this for dinner last night.. so quick & easy, and the broth was to die for! Hoping the sungolds will last another week so I can make it next weekend for a dinner party. Awesome!