cockle and bacon chowder
There is only one main ingredient that we could use in our dish and that is our Leigh-on-Sea cockles! We’ve paired them with classic ingredients to make a velvety winter warming chowder, served with beautiful fresh bread. We often serve it inside a hollowed-out cob from our local bakery.
Local award-winning author Jenny Jefferies is back with her fourth book, for the Love of the Sea II. This compilation celebrates the cornucopian coastline though recipes from 40 different contributors. In this issue, we share a delicious recipe using cockles from Osborne & Sons (Shellfish) Limited in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, a family-run business now in its fifth generation.
• for the Love of the Sea II is available to buy on Jenny’s website jennyjefferies.co.uk for £22, with 10% of the net profits going to The Food Teachers Centre charity.
• nourish reader exclusive – select the free wrapped and signed options at checkout to have your book signed by Jenny.
Heat the butter in a pan and sizzle the bacon for three or four minutes until it starts to brown. Stir in the onion, thyme, and bay and cook everything gently for 10 minutes until the onion is soft and golden. Scatter over the flour and stir in to make a sandy paste, cook for a further two minutes, then gradually stir in the fish stock, followed by the milk and cream.
Add the potatoes, bring everything to a simmer and leave to bubble away gently for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. Use a fork to crush a few of the potato chunks against the side of the pan to help thicken the chowder – you still want lots of defined chunks, though.
Stir through the cockle meat and simmer for a minute to reheat. Season with plenty of black pepper and a little salt, if needed.
Serve with a fresh cob loaf, cut into wedges or, if you are feeling indulgent, hollow out a fresh cob loaf, reserving the breadcrumbs for another dish. Use this loaf as your serving bowl.