Not a single industry is untouched by this pandemic. And buying local has never been so important – to support small family businesses. By purchasing local ingredients from farmers and processors and eating at local establishments, you strengthen Canada’s food supply chain. You can make a real difference in your neighbours’ lives and perhaps make new friends along the way, too.

Who doesn’t love a great burger? Taking massive bites of beefy goodness and all the variations in burger toppings. My favorite is the mushroom-Swiss combination. Who doesn’t love extra umami flavor! Nothing satisfies hunger like this classic.

When it comes to burgers, the taste and tenderness depend on the type of ground beef that you use. The combination of 50 per cent sirloin, 25 per cent short-rib and 25 per cent brisket gives the perfect mouth-watering ratio of fat-to-meat, keeping your burger juicy. Your local butcher shop is the best choice for this type of ground beef because you won’t be able to find this product in your regular grocery store. If you live in Ontario – check out our article on Jamie Waldron here. Waldron a local butcher who takes a lot of pride in his work!

Jamie Waldron sources his beef from local Canadian ranchers. He visits partnering farms to make sure that their values align and the cattle are properly raised. A great butcher takes care of what he sells. Generally speaking, buying meat from your local butcher means you are getting the freshest and highest-quality ingredients. You are also helping support the local economy.

What makes a great burger patty? Beef has four different flavour profiles that need to be combined. Nutty flavours can be found in aged beef and has a cheese-like flavour. Grassy notes come from iron found in the blood. The favourite part of any meat dish is the umami flavour, which comes from meat and mushrooms. The last flavour is gamey, which is usually found in a lot of wild game meats. When used correctly, it can add depth of flavour. Different cuts of meats have different flavour profiles – this is why we use the combination of sirloin, short-rib and brisket – to balance these flavours and make an amazing burger patty.

Beef is an excellent source of high-quality protein and contains all the essential amino acids and consumption may help preserve muscle mass. Due to beef’s high carnosine levels, it is also believed to be good for exercise performance. Beef is also high in iron and helps prevent anemia. It’s a tasty treat but everything should be consumed in moderation.

Historically, beef ranching started in British Columbia in the late 1850s. Cattle were brought into the Thompson and Nikola Valley from the Western United States and eventually spread into Alberta and Saskatchewan. Nowadays, Canada has one of the biggest ranching industries in the world and exported 4.3 per cent of the world’s beef supply. Canadian ranchers produce quality beef. Cooking beef properly shows them our appreciation for their hard work. Check out Farmwork to Feed Canada’s article on some of our young Canadian ranchers here.


Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 2 lbs of freshly ground beef combination
    • 50% Sirloin
    • 25% Short-rib
    • 25% Brisket
  • Burger buns (I used White Bap from Cob’s Bread)
  • ½ pound white or cremini mushrooms
  • 8 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 1 ounce fresh horseradish (or store bought sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large onion
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Additional Toppings
    • Lettuce
    • Tomato
    • Ketchup
    • Mustard
    • Chipotle Mayo
    • Anything else you want (don’t let anyone tell you how to top your burger)


Preparing the toppings

  1. Slice onions – cut onion in half and slice onions perpendicular to the grain into 2-3mm slices.
  2. If using lettuce – either tear into large pieces before washing. Make sure to dry with a paper towel or salad spinner!
  3. If using tomatoes – wash and slice into 5mm slices.

Preparing the horseradish sauce

  1. Peel skin of horseradish before grating.
  2. Use cheese grater to grate 1 ounce of horseradish.
  3. Mix horseradish, sour cream and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (1 lemon) in a small bowl.

Preparing the patties

  1. Do not season the raw beef patties until just before you are ready to cook. Pre-seasoning too early will cause meat to dry out!
  2. Roll ground beef into eight ¼ lb balls.

Cooking the burgers

  1. Either use the oven or a skillet/frying pan to toast your hamburger buns with butter!
  2. Cook ¼ of your onion slices and mushrooms at medium heat in a large skillet with 2 teaspoons of olive oil for 15 minutes or until caramelized. Split into two groups. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Heavily pre-season 2 of your burger balls with salt and pepper. Place on the free area of the skillet and press down hard with spatula. To smash with more force use another utensil to press down on the spatula! Burger patty should be 2-3mm in thickness!
  4. Burger patty will cook quickly due to its thickness!
  5. Place Swiss cheese on top of one group of onions!
  6. Place burger patty on top of the onions – this will melt the cheese. Repeat steps 2-6 to make a double decker burger

Putting it all together

  1. Spread condiments on burger buns – I recommend the horseradish sauce as it gives great depth of flavor and is not too overpowering on the burger!
  2. Place your double decker burger patties with onions and mushrooms on the bun.
  3. Optional: Top with lettuce and tomatoes and enjoy!

Mushroom Swiss Smash Burger

en_CAEnglish (Canada)