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.


  1. 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….

    1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

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