Have you ever done a clambake? It's a super easy meal, very casual and at the same time impressive. Easy because everything goes in one pan. Casual, because you're basically eating with your hands; and impressive because there's a huge mound of food in the middle of the table! This Clambake on the Grill is the perfect summertime meal for a crowd.
I first did a clambake for one of our Gr8 dinners. It was such fun that I've repeated it since and used a couple different methods to cook all the food. You can boil everything in a big pot on your stovetop or you can assemble it all in a large roasting pan and put it on your grill.
If you want to use your stove, here is Martha Stewart's Stove-Top Clambake recipe. I usually do the clambake on the grill because I have a large roasting pan. However, if you have an oversized deep pot, it's also fun to do on the stove.
One of the best things about a clambake is that the main dish and side dishes are all done in one pan and served together. Just add some crusty bread to sop up the broth and everyone is happy!
You need a large roasting pan to accommodate all the components and newspaper to cover your outdoor table. (You can also use brown kraft paper.) Add some nutcrackers or claw crackers for the lobsters, some drawn butter and let everyone dig in!
If you would like to serve a salad while the clambake is on the grill, try this Mixed Field Greens with Arugula Oil and Lemon Vinaigrette.
Clambake on the Grill
- 2½ pounds red new potatoes
- 3 to 4 1-¼ pound lobsters
- 2 sweet onions, , peeled and cut into 4 wedges each
- 1½ pounds chorizo or andouille or polish sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces,, your choice, pick your favorite
- 4 ears of corn cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces
- 1½ pounds raw shrimp
- 48 small mussels
- 48 small clams,, we like to use Manila clams from Costco
- 3 Tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white wine
- 16 sprigs parsley
- 4 lemons
- 1½ cups drawn butter or melted ghee,, optional for serving
Par-Cook the Potatoes:
- If the new potatoes are large, cut them into halves or quarters. If they are small, leave them whole. Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with water by 1-inch. Add a Tablespoon of salt. (I love the little new potatoes. Because they are whole, they are easy to grab with your fingers, dip in the butter and pop in your mouth!)
- Bring the potatoes to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cook until just starting to get tender. This should take about 7 to 10 minutes. The potatoes will cook more in the clambake, so don't overcook them here!
- Drain and set aside.
Par-Cook the Lobster:
- At the same time as you are cooking the potatoes, bring a large pot of water to a boil. This pot will have to be big enough to accommodate all the lobsters (unless you use two pots).
- When the water is boiling put each lobster into the pot head first. When all the lobsters are in the pot, return the water to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. If you use a lid, the water will come back to a boil faster. Just be sure to watch it so it doesn't boil over!
Assemble the Clambake:
- Pre-heat your grill on high.
- Place the par-boiled potatoes in a single layer in the bottom of a large roasting pan.
- Layer the onions, sausage, and corn, then the shrimp, mussels and clams.
- Mix the Old Bay Seasoning into the water and pour the water and wine over the contents of the roasting pan.
- Lay the sprigs of parsley on top.
- Then set the lobsters on top of this mixture. Don't worry if the mixture is mounded up above the top of the pan.
- Cover the roasting pan TIGHTLY with heavy-duty foil and set the pan on your pre-heated grill. (I use two fairly large pieces of heavy-duty foil crimped together. This makes a large enough piece to have plenty of overhang to get the seal tight so the food can steam.)
- Close the lid and cook for 20 to 30 minutes over high heat. The food is done with the clams and mussels have opened.
- Cut each lemon in half and set one-half on each plate.
- Divide the drawn butter or melted ghee into 8 small ramekins and give one to each guest for dipping. Or two guests can share one ramekin.
- When the clambake is cooked, empty the contents of the roasting pan into the middle of the table. (I don't dump it, I use a large spoon and tongs. I like to retain the broth.)
- Pour the remaining broth into small bowls and serve for dipping. This is delicious for dipping bread!
- Dig in!!!
Gr8 Do Ahead Idea:If you are using the small red potatoes, you can boil them a couple of hours ahead of time.
Gr8 Serving Ideas:Wrap some thickly sliced bread in foil and put it on the grill with the clambake to heat up when you have about 10 minutes of cooking left. Delicious dipped in the leftover broth! The "napkins" in the photos are actually colorful dish towels that I found on clearance. The perfect size and weight for a casual, sort of messy meal!