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Clams steamed with jamón serrano white wine and beans

A Neil Perry recipe I found in the Good Food section of the newspaper, it caught my eye when he was quoted saying “I love it, love it, love it. I’m addicted to the salty flavour of the sea, the nutty taste of the clams, and the deep richness of the ham”.
He also mentions cooking it often at home and not sharing when served at the restaurant.
I adore clams so had to see what it was all about and it is one of my new favourite dishes – so quick and simple to make it can become a weekly meal, and full of so much flavour.

Pictured: Clams steamed with jamón serrano white wine and beans

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 golden shallot, finely diced – or substitute with ½ a red Spanish onion
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
500g fresh clams or pipis, or a mix of both – soaked in cold water 5 minutes to remove any remaining grit
60ml white wine
100g tinned flageolet beans – they are a delicate pale green bean from France picked when tender. If you cannot find them, substitute with Great Northern beans – most commonly found dried. Soak a small handful overnight well covered in cold water, then bring to the boil a fresh pot of water (no salt during cooking) and simmer 20 minutes. Or if tinned is all you have time for go for either navy beans or cannellini.
50g jamón serrano , finely diced
50g unsalted butter
Lemon juice to taste
In a large pot with a lid, preferably a glass lid so you can see the clams/pipis during cooking – add the oil over low heat. Gently cook the shallot and garlic for a few minutes til soft.
Increase the heat to high, add the clams and white wine, cover with lid, and shaking the pan every now and then, cook until they open – remove them as they do and throw away any that do not.
Add the beans and jamón to the pan, reduce the heat to low and stir in the butter.
Season to taste with the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Return the clams to the pan, warm through and serve immediately.
Serves 4