New England Clam Chowder

We're big fans of clam chowder at our house.  This homemade version is truly the best. The veggies are sauteed in bacon grease, then everything is simmered for a while to blend all those yummy flavors together.  Great comfort food!  Enjoy!
-6-7 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
-1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
-1 onion, finely chopped
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp dried thyme
-4 (6.5 oz each) cans minced clams
-1/2 cup flour
-6 cups milk (whole or 2%)
Cook bacon in large sauce pan until nice and crisp.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from pan onto paper towel lined plate.
Return pan with bacon grease to stove.  Add the potatoes and onion.  Give it a good stir.  Add the salt, pepper, thyme, and clam liquid from the clam cans.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
While that's cooking, in a large bowl, mix the flour and milk until no more clumps.  Add this gradually to the chowder.  Mix well and cook, over medium heat, for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in the clams and cook for 1 more minute.
Ladle into bowls, top with some of the cooked bacon and enjoy!