There are almost as many ways to make clam chowder as there are cooks in New England. Here’s one that insists on salt pork for “true” flavor.
Fry salt pork in soup kettle until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Saute onions in fat until tender. Add stock, water, potatoes, and herbs. Simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Add cream, clams, and reserved salt pork. Heat slowly. Do not boil. For Mussel Chowder: Substitute mussels for clams and proceed as directed above.