Topped with a fried clam and special Old Bay sauce on a mini pretzel bun, these sliders don't stay on the tray for long on gameday. —Just Me and The Clams
fatty ground beef (20-28% fat)
Old Bay seasoning
Fresh softshell clams
Ground sea salt
In This Recipe
Shuck the clams. Cut into the two muscles on the sides of where the shell is fused together. Then press down into the open side to pull the shell from one side. Carefully pull the clam out of the other side. Cut directly into the siphon of the clam to allow any sand to escape from there. After this, pull off the outer membrane of the clambody. It’s a little like removing a sausage casing. Place each shucked clam into a bowl of water. (how to video: https://youtu.be/yCSqXyVILVk)
Put everything in place before you start cooking. Because you want your meat and clams to be hot and ready at the same time, it helps to have everything ready to go. Put the milk in a bowl, and the flour and salt mixed in a separate bowl. Place these near each other, along with the bowl of clams and a colander with papertowels where you will drain the fried clams of excess oil. Preheat the oven to 200F. Mix the mayo and old bay into a small bowl. Cut the buns in half, if they aren’t already. Pour the oil into a deep pan, and place the heat on medium.
Prepare the sliders. Make small patties out of your meat. Don’t overwork the meat, or it will become stiff when you cook it. I also recommend making small divots in the middle of the patties; this will prevent them from becoming ball-shaped instead of patty-shaped as they cook. Put the butter in an ovenproof frying pan (preferably you can do all of your patties in this pan in a single batch) and bring it up to high heat. When the butter is sizzling, add the patties. Bring the gas to medium-low. Don’t overcook the meat. Only cook each side for about 1 1/2-2 minutes. Then place the entire pan in the oven to stay warm while you cook the clams.
Cook the clams. You’ll know when the oil is hot enough when a drop of the batter sizzles on contact. Submerge clams into the buttermilk, followed by the dry ingredients, and drop into the oil. Try not to put too many clams in the oil at a time; it can be overwhelming to have too much going on in there. After the clams are golden, remove them from the oil and place them on paper towels.
Assemble the sliders. Place a patty on each bun, with a clam or two on top. Then slather some of the special sauce on top, and pin everything together with a toothpick. Enjoy!