Canadian Mussel Chowder


1.5kg / 3lb Canadian Cove mussels
175g / 3/4cup finely ground salt pork
75ml / 1/3 cup substitute lard for pork
300ml / 1 1/4cup diced onions
25ml / 2tbsp all purpose flour
500ml / 2cups diced potatoes
500ml / 2cups hot milk
125ml / 1/2cup hot light cream
to taste salt and pepper

Steam covered mussels in a small amount of water on high heat until open (5-8 minutes) and remove from shells. Discard shells, reserving meat and juice. Strain juice through a cheese cloth, stopping when sediment at the bottom is reached. Add enough hot water to make 4 cups of mussel stock. Set aside. Saute salt pork in a large pot. Add onions and continue to saute until onions become transparent. Add flour and stir until blended. Add stock and stir until smooth. Bring to boil, add potatoes, and simmer until potatoes are cooked. Add hot milk, hot light cream and mussels. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

It takes 2 years for the Mussels to grow to harvesting size and wild, salt-water mussels can live up to 50 years.