- 2 pounds mussels, preferably cultivated, in their shells
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium-sized onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
- 2 medium-sized carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups basic fish stock (see recipe index)
- 2 pounds OCI Cod Fillets, skin and bones removed
- 5 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf, 15 whole allspice and 1 tea- spoon dried thyme, tied in cheesecloth
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch stirred together with 3 tablespoons water
- 1 pound small to medium OCI Shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1⁄4 cup dark rum, preferably Newfoundland Screech
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
Scrub the mussels under cold water and pull off the beards. In a large heavy pot, combine the mussels with 2 cups of water and bring them to a boil over high heat. Cover the pot and steam just until they open, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the mussels in a large sieve set over a bowl to catch all the liquid. When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the shells. Set the mussels and reserved cooking liquid aside in separate containers.
Rinse out the pot and melt the butter in it over moderately low heat. Add the onion, pepper, leek, carrots, celery, chopped tomato and garlic. Cook the vegetables, covered, until softened, about 7 or 8 minutes. Stir in the fish stock and the reserved mussel liquid. Raise the heat to moderate and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.
Stir in the cod, tomato paste and cheesecloth bag of spices. Simmer 20 minutes (the fish will break up). Stir the cornstarch mixture and add it to the chowder. Simmer, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved mussels, shrimp, Worcestershire sauce and rum and gently simmer 30 minutes longer. Remove the chowder from the heat and let it stand, covered, for at least 1 hour to blend the flavours. Gently return it to a simmer. Taste for seasoning, adding salt if necessary, and stir in the hot pepper sauce to taste.
Serve the chowder from a large heated soup tureen.