The 3 X 2 Smash Burger

Canada Beef was a proud partner of Food & Drink’s 30th Anniversary Event where guests enjoyed this recipe, adapted from the original created by Christopher St. Onge for the Autumn 2023 issue of Food & Drink magazine. The best burger? Everyone has thoughts. Thick, thin, well-done, lots of toppings, barely any. What can’t be argued? That said, the smash burger is here to stay. As dangerously close (in the best way) to a salty meat pudding as any sandwich ought to be, a smash burger owes its ultra-beefy flavour to ground meat cooked over high heat in its own fat. Inspired by the Four Guys Burger at Gold Standard in Toronto and the Animal Style burger at California’s In-N-Out Burger, this three-patty, two-cheese babe is as local as your own kitchen. Marmite, an MSG-laden (again, in the best way!) yeast extract, is available at most large grocers. See Tip for customizing your burgers.
Yield 2 Servings Prep. Time 20 min Cooking Time 45 min Total Time ??? min


Here are the following ingredients:

Burger Sauce

  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) EACH ketchup and sweet pickle relish
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) Marmite
  • Pinch cayenne pepper


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola or sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • ¾ lb (375 g) Medium Ground Beef
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 2 very soft, small potato or brioche burger buns
  • 1 cup (250 mL) loosely packed shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) prepared yellow mustard, divided (approx)
  • 4 thin processed cheese slices
  • 1 dill pickle, sliced into ¼-inch (5 mm) thick coins
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and halved crosswise (optional)

Shopping List

Here are the following shopping items to buy:


Follow these cooking methods/directions: 1. Burger Sauce: Combine mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, Marmite and cayenne in a small bowl, stirring well to dissolve Marmite. Cover and refrigerate until serving, for up to 1 week. 2. Burgers: To caramelize onion, heat oil over medium heat in a 10- or 12-inch (25 or 30 cm) cast-iron skillet until shimmering. Add onions and ½ tsp (2 mL) salt. Spread out into an even layer and cook for about 3 minutes, until light golden. Stir and repeat process twice more. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 35 minutes or until deeply caramelized. 3. Meanwhile, divide ground beef into six equal portions. Working on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, pat each portion out into a large, flat patty 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Season generously with salt and pepper. 4. Scrape onions into a heatproof bowl; set aside. Return skillet to heat; place buns cut side down in pan and toast for about 30 seconds or until golden at the edges. Transfer to plates. Clean pan. 5. Divide Burger Sauce between top and bottom buns. Divide lettuce between bottoms. Set aside. 6. Turn kitchen fan to HIGH. Set clean pan over high heat and heat until pan is smoking. 7. Add 3 patties to pan; press each lightly with a large offset spatula to make contact with pan. Cook for 1 minute, squirting a heaping teaspoonful (5 mL) of mustard onto uncooked side of each patty and spread to edges. Flip and immediately top two of the patties with a cheese slice and one-quarter of the onions. Cook for 45 seconds, until beef is thoroughly cooked, to 160°F (71°C). Stack the patties with the undressed one on top. 8. Place stacked patties on bun bottom, top with half the pickle slices, half the bacon (if using) and sandwich with bun top. Serve immediately and repeat cooking process to make second burger.