Everytime the family and I head over to the Central Coast area of California I can’t help but to stop by the Firestone Walker brewery in Paso Robles to pickup what could very well be the most awesome and most fresh beer available to man. Growler of Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale in one hand a six pack of Pale 31 Pale Ale in the other we set off to Pismo Beach. Early June weather this year meant mid fifties and rain, mother nature you’re such a joker. What trip to the beach wouldn’t be complete without fresh seafood? We rented a house, so I have to make use of the kitchen. Google and Yelped around on my phone to find a fresh seafood market, eventually found Old Port Fresh Seafood Market where I picked up some awesomely fresh seafood to make these awesome clams.
This is a simple, straight forward recipe for classic steamed clams using beer instead of wine. I’m using Firestone Walker’s Pale 31 in this recipe, however you can use any thing you’d like. I prefer cooking with American Pale Ales for their nice and present hop flavor without being too bitter. If Pales ales make you bitter face use some standard American Macro Lager or try an India Pale Ale if you want full hop flavor with bitterness, probably get rid of the lemon with an IPA also. If making a smaller or larger batch use four ounces of beer for every pound of clams in shell. Any small variety of clams will work as will any onion.
Pale Ale Steamed Clams
3lbs. Littleneck Clams (cleaned and drained)
1/2 Lemon (sliced)
1/2 Vidalia Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
1 Bottle Firestone Walker Pale 31
1/2 c. Water
2tbsp. Finely chopped Parsley (I forgot it)
Salt and Pepper
1. Sweat onions in 3tbsp of butter, once onions begin to carmalize add garlic and cook additional minute.
2. Add one bottle of pale ale and simmer for five minutes and add lemon slices and parsley and simmer for one minute.
3. Add 1/2 cup of water and bring back to simmer and add clams.
4. Clams should steam within 4-5 minutes, once clams open strain cooking liquid with a colander and save.
5. Pour cooking liquid back into pan and stir in rest of butter 1tbsp. at a time over NO HEAT
6. Garnish with remaining parsley.
Toast up a baguette and enjoy. Soak all that delicious clam juice and beer up with that bread.