Surf & Turf Sliders – Lambs and Clams

Surf & Turf Sliders via

This post is bittersweet for me.  It’s been 4 months since I started the Lambs & Clams recipe contest in an attempt to win a pass to the Charleston Wine + Food Festival in March.  When I first agreed to enter the contest, March seemed like light years away, but here we are in the middle of January already and by the time I blink again, it will be March.  It’s been a fun ride for sure.  Dreaming up recipes is what I love to do and using ingredients that I don’t normally use, like lamb and clams, has pushed my creative envelope to new heights.  High quality ingredients were provided by Border Springs Farm & Rappahannock River Oysters, you should check them out next time you need lamb or clams/oysters or just go check them out.

Here’s a little recap of past recipes before we move on:

Lamb Roulade with Mushroom Duxelle's and Tawny Port Jus

Lamb Roulade with Mushroom Duxelle’s and Tawny Port Jus

Clam Cakes with Lemony Greens and a Poached Egg

Clam Cakes with Lemony Greens and a Poached Egg

Lamb & Roasted Root Vegetable Shepherd's Pie

Lamb & Roasted Root Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie

And last but definitely not least are these sliders.  Surf meets turf on a homemade pretzel roll and the result is incredibly delicious.  So good, in fact, that we had them for lunch and dinner the same day.  These would be a fun addition to your Super Bowl menu for sure!

Surf and Turf Sliders via

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make them.

Surf & Turf Sliders - via

Start by steaming 2 dozen middleneck clams in a red ale.  I used Rickard’s Red which is a Canadian beer that my husband and I were turned on to by our neighbors.

Surf & Turf Sliders via

Remove the clams from the shells and coarse chop them.  Add 8 ounces of room temp cream cheese, 2 tablespoons minced yellow onion, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1 tsp Worcestershire and 3/4 tsp Sriracha.  Mix it all up and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.

Surf & Turf Sliders - via

Add 2 lbs of ground lamb to a bowl.  Mix in 2 tablespoons minced yellow onion, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper, a big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch of smoked paprika.  Use your hands to combine.  Using a 1/3 cup measure, make patties.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Heat up a skillet, grill or grill pan and cook the lamb burgers until they are just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Toast some slider buns, like these Pretzel Slider Buns (pictured above) and then give them a good shmear of the clam spread.  Add a lamb patty and a few arugula leaves and spear a cornichon pickle to the top and serve.

Surf and Turf Sliders via

I’d like to give a special thanks to the Charleston Wine + Food team for creating a fun recipe contest and I am so honored that they asked me to participate.  I’d also like to give a shout out to Rappahannock River Oysters & Border Springs Farm for supplying the clams/oysters and lamb for these 4 challenges.  I’m a firm believer that great product makes great food and both of these small businesses provided the freshest most amazing meats.

Vote For Me

It has also been a pleasure to work with the other 7 bloggers for this event.  See what they made for their last challenge below.

Surf & Turf Sliders

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 14 Sliders

Serving Size: 2 Sliders

Surf & Turf Sliders

Creamy clam spread gets melty and gooey from the warm lamb patties making for a delicious surf meets turf slider. Perfect for your next tailgating or Super Bowl party.


    For the Clam Spread:
  • 16 ounce bottle red ale, such as Rickard's Red
  • 25 middleneck clams, scrubbed
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced yellow onion
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce, or other hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • For the Lamb Burgers:
  • 2 lbs ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinch smoked paprika
  • 14 pretzel slider buns
  • arugula
  • cornichons (optional)


    For the Clam Spread:
  1. Add the beer to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and add the clams and salt & pepper to taste. Cover and allow to steam for 5 minutes, or until the clams have opened. Remove the clams and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Coarsely chop the clams and add to a medium bowl along with the cream cheese, onion, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and sriracha. Stir with a rubber scraper, cover and refrigerate.
  3. For the Lamb Patties:
  4. In a medium bowl add the lambs, onion, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and paprika. Use your hand to combine. Use a 1/3 cup measure to form measure the meat and make a patty and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
  5. Heat a skillet, grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the lamb patties and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until just cooked through.
  6. Toast the cut side of the slider buns under a broiler for 30 seconds or so, then spread a tablespoon of clam spread on the bun. Add a patty and a few arugula leaves. Use a long toothpick and spear a cornichon with it. Spear the slider and repeat with the remaining sliders. Serve immediately.

See the Other Entries for this Month:

Vivek’s Epicurean Adventure – Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Merguez Lamb, Steamed Clams

Taste Food Blog – Gratineed Clams with Spinach, Cheese & Crispy Lamb

A Cook Blog –

Mango Tomato – Lambs & Clams

Eat Drink RI – Clambballs

Bunkycooks – Rustic Lambs and Clams Pâté with Cognac Gelée

One Vanilla Bean – Saffron and Smoked Paprika Lambs and Clams with Roasted Garlic Aioli 

Disclaimer: I received a 2 lbs of ground lamb from Border Springs Farm and 25 Middleneck clams from Rappahannock River Oysters for the purpose of recipe development.  I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own.  One person will be selected from a group of 8 food bloggers to receive an all expense paid trip to the Charleston Wine + Food Festival.


  • Reply
    a farmer in the dell
    February 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I need one of those surf and turf sliders right about now!

  • Reply
    January 26, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Oh, Heather, I am swooning! Nothing better – from the gorgeous pretzel rolls to that amazing clam sauce and the lamb burgers? Just stunning and THIS is what I want for dinner! Good luck with the compet….

    • Reply
      January 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      Thank you Jamie!! I wish the photos would’ve turned out better. I took some amazing shots, but didn’t realize I had changed some settings on my camera which made them turn out awful! Oh well. They tasted delish. Thank you again!! XO darlin!

  • Reply
    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious
    January 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Fantastic sliders and everything else! I wish you all the best for the comp 🙂

    • Reply
      January 21, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      Thank you Gerry! Here’s to hoping! 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  • Reply
    Noble Pig - Cathy
    January 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    These really are the cutest things!

    • Reply
      January 21, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks Cathy!! They were darned tasty too. Who knew clam spread would work on a burger, but it totally did. Thanks for commenting. XO

  • Reply
    Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet
    January 16, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you Miss

  • Reply
    Milisa Armstrong
    January 16, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    What a burger! You have rocked this competition and I am crossing my fingers for you to win!

  • Reply
    Erika @ The Hopeless Housewife
    January 16, 2013 at 11:42 am

    So creative and certain to be delicious! Gorgeous photos.

    • Reply
      January 16, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Thank you Erika. It’s a unique combo, but it worked great. Even the kiddos loved it.

  • Reply
    Olga @ MangoTomato
    January 16, 2013 at 11:25 am

    LOVE sliders! But I still think your second recipe was the best: too bad you did not win ;( I’m so glad we are done!!!

    • Reply
      January 16, 2013 at 11:48 am

      You’re too sweet Olga. Out of all of the recipes, the sliders were my faves with the shepherd’s pie coming in close second. It sure was fun.

  • Reply
    January 16, 2013 at 11:09 am

    It has been an interesting challenge and I have enjoyed seeing what everyone comes up with based on the ingredients we have been sent. The lamb slider with clam sauce is definitely fun.

    • Reply
      January 16, 2013 at 11:48 am

      It sure did stretch my imagination! Thanks for commenting Gwen. Best of luck.

  • Reply
    January 16, 2013 at 9:44 am

    At first I was a little apprehensive about the combo of lamb & clams, but it was such a creative experiment. Your sliders sound delicious! What a great way to incorporate the clams into the dish. And the homemade pretzel buns are gorgeous!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I love lamb burgers and the idea of a creamy clam sauce is brilliant. Actually, you had me with the sriracha. It’s been a fun contest, and I wish you good luck!

    • Reply
      January 16, 2013 at 9:42 am

      I love sriracha too. It’s my weakness. Thanks for commenting!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking
    January 16, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Ooooo! I am so curious about this combo. I love this little lamb burger idea!

    • Reply
      January 16, 2013 at 8:17 am

      Seems weird to have clams on a burger, but they were incredible. Thanks for commenting!!

    Leave a Comment