For 5 lbs. (2.25 kg) of clam meat
- 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) Bradley Demerara Cure (Do not use more than this amount.)
- 2 tsp. (10 ml) white pepper
- 2 cups (480 ml) water
If the meat weighs either more or less than 5 pounds (2.25 kg), the amount of cure mix applied must be proportional to that weight. For example, if the weight of the meat is 2 1/2 pounds (1.15 kg), then each ingredient, including the Bradley Cure, needs to be cut in half.
Preparing the clams
- Wash the outside of the clams thoroughly
- Soak the clams for two or three hours in cold water that contains 1/3 cup (80 ml) of salt per gallon (4 l) of water.
- Discard any clams that float or have broken shells. Also, discard any clams that have open shells, or have shells that do not close when touched.
- Steam the clams until the shells open.
- Remove the meat from the shells, and place it in a colander. If you are using frozen clam meats, rinse the meats well in cold water, and then steam them for about 30 minutes.
- Rinse the steamed meats thoroughly in cold water; change the rinse water several times, and continue rinsing until there is no sand in the bottom of the rinse pan.
- Chill the clam meat.
- Prepare the seasoning mixture.
- Add the steamed clam meat, and refrigerate it for the remainder of the day and overnight.
- Stir the meats from time to time during the curing period.
- The next morning, drain the cured clam meat in a colander, and rinse briefly.
- Place the meat in wire-mesh smoking baskets.
- Dry the meat at 140°F (60°C) for 1 hour, or until the surface no longer feels damp. Do not use smoke. Agitate the meats occasionally while drying to insure that all surfaces become dry.
- Discontinue using auxiliary heat. Cold smoke (or smoke at the lowest possible temperature) for 1 to 2 hours. The smoking is finished when the clam meat takes on an attractive golden-brown coloration.
At this point, the clam meats are ready to eat, but they will taste better if they are refrigerated overnight to allow the flavor to mellow. Many people like to apply olive oil while the meats are still warm. The following paragraph describes this oiling technique. If the meats are to be oiled, they should be oiled at room temperature immediately after smoking.
To oil the clam meats, place them in a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Add enough olive oil to coat the clams when the container is shaken, rolled, or turned upside down. About 1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil is usually adequate. Continue to agitate the container every few minutes for about one hour until most of the oil has been absorbed by the meats. Refrigerate.
If the salt taste is too mild, the next time you make this product, add about 1 teaspoon of salt to the ingredients list. If the salt taste is too strong, reduce the amount of Bradley Cure by about 1 teaspoon.
Instructions prepared by Warren R. Anderson, author of Mastering the Craft of Smoking Food