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Irish Cider Steamed Clams with Pancetta, Apple & Monk's beard

Some of the finest seafood available comes from Ireland’s bountiful shores. If you are new to cooking with seafood this swift (and economical) clam dish is a good place to start. Be sure to have some soda bread ready to mop up the juices!

Irish Cider Steamed Clams with Pancetta, Apple & Monk's beard

Bring the seashore to the table with a bowl of Millie’s delicious cider steamed clams. The tang of the sea mixed with fragrant cider, zesty apple and smoky pancetta never fails to comfort when spring is being bashful. Your fishmonger should be able to supply you with Monk’s Beard.

About this recipe

Preparation Time 10 Minutes
Cooking Time 10 – 15 Minutes
Serves 1 – 2 People
Irish Cider Steamed Clams with Pancetta, Apple & Monk's Beard Irish Cider Steamed Clams with Pancetta, Apple & Monk's Beard


  • 400g fresh clams, washed
  • 1 tbsp. rapeseed oil
  • 50g smoked pancetta
  • ½ a banana shallot, diced
  • half a garlic clove, diced
  • ½ granny smith apple, diced
  • 1 lemon, juice & zest
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ½ bottle Irish cider
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 100g samphire
  • 100g monks beard
  • Garlic flowers to dress (optional)



Start by preparing your clams and sea vegetables. If you can’t get hold of sea vegetables then feel free to replace with some nice crunchy greens.


Soak the clams in some cold water and give them a little shake to remove the sand and dirt. Lift out of the water and pat dry with some paper towel. Set aside until needed.


Take some fresh cold water and place your trimmed sea vegetables in it to wash off any dirt and give them a nice crisp texture. Set aside until needed.


Take a pan and add a drop of rapeseed oil. Heat on a medium heat and add the diced smoked pancetta. Cook until slightly crispy and some of the fat has rendered out.


Add the chopped shallot and garlic to the pan with a little butter and sweat down, building little colour. Toss with the pancetta until it is softened and translucent.


Add a few cubes of butter to a fresh pan, bring to a higher heat and add the cider. Let the cider cook for a second then add the clams and quickly cover with a lid. Let them steam for 3-5 minutes until all the clams have opened.


When ready, remove the lid; strain the clams over a sieve, reserving the cooking liquor. Pick out the clams that have not opened and dispose of them.


To cook the sea vegetables, simply place in a pan with a little butter and cook on a medium heat until they have slightly wilted. Adjust the seasoning with a little salt, pepper and lemon juice.


Take your cooked pancetta and place back on the heat. Add the diced apple and toss through, again adjust the seasoning to your taste.


Add the clam cooking liquor to the pan and boil for a minute, then add the clams back to the pan and toss through in the juice and garnish.


To plate up, simple place some of the wilted sea vegetables in the base of your bowl. Spoon the clams on top, making sure that you can see the clam meat, pancetta and apple in amongst the shells. Drape some more of the sea vegetables in and around the clams and then finish with a grating of lemon zest and some garlic flowers.

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