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Croix Valley Cookoff 2023! Click for details.

Red Ale Smash Burger

Red Ale Smash Burger

A true delight for the taste buds rests with this amazing blended burger that’s not only big enough to satisfy hunger pains, but is packed with perfectly paired flavors and textures to elevate your backyard burger game.  With a combination of cheeses, sauces, easily-sourced mushrooms and notes from beer throughout, this burger hits all notes and is sure to please the heartiest of appetites.


  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 pound Portobello Mushrooms
  • 1 pound Baby Shitake Mushrooms
  • 1 pound Crimini Mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 4 slices aged Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 slices Asiago Cheese
  • 4 Ciabatta Buns
  • Beer Batter
  • ¾ cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 Tbsp. Butter
  • Canola oil (for frying)
  • Baby Arugula
  • Red Ale Beer
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • Croix Valley Honey Dijon Barbecue N Brat Sauce
  • Croix Valley Garlic Barbecue Booster


Red Ale Bacon Jam:

  • 3/4 pound Bacon, diced
  • 2 large Shallots, diced
  • 1 tsp. minced Garlic
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Croix Valley Garlic Barbecue Booster
  • 12 oz Red Ale Beer


Parmesan Ranch Sauce:

  • 1 ½  cups Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/3 cup Heavy Cream
  • ½  cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp. Granulated Garlic
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • ½. tsp. Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. minced parsley
  • 1 tsp. minced dill



  1. Prepare Parmesan Ranch Sauce by combining respective ingredients and mixing together thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.
  2. Prepare Red Ale Bacon Jam by sautéing bacon and shallots together in frying pan over medium heat until bacon becomes soft and shallots become translucent. Add garlic and beer and simmer over low heat until liquid is nearly evaporated and shallots are caramelized. Season mixture to taste with Garlic Booster, add brown sugar, mix thoroughly, cover and reduce heat to keep warm until use. For a video showcasing this technique, click


  3. Prepare buns by battering in beer batter (use a commercial mix or utilize your favorite recipe) and frying in Canola oil until golden brown and crispy. Place buns on paper towels to absorb excess oil, transfer to a baking rack on a sheet pan, sprinkle with Garlic Barbecue Booster and shredded Cheddar Cheese, place in 160°F oven until cheese is melted, remove and set aside until ready to use.
  4. Julienne (finely) red bell pepper, batter in beer batter and fry in oil until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towel, season with Garlic Booster and set aside for use.
  5. Slice all mushrooms and add to sauté pan with butter. Add minced garlic and cook over medium heat until mushrooms become tender. Season with Garlic Barbecue Booster to taste and deglaze pan with Red Ale Beer.  Evaporate beer in the pan, remove from heat, drain excess liquid and remove half of the mushrooms, reserving the rest in the pan for topping the burgers. 
  6. Take removed mushrooms and dry by blotting with paper towels. Finely chop mushrooms and blend with ground beef, form into 4 equal portions, and season with Garlic Barbecue Booster.
  7. Prepare grill to medium-high heat, using inverted GrillGrates at a minimum temperature of 400°F when checked with a laser thermometer.  Spray Surface of GrillGrates with cooking oil spray and place each portion of burger atop the inverted grates.  After a crust begins to form after about a minute to a minute and a half, use the back of a spatula to smash the burger flat to an even thickness of no more than 1.2".  Continue to grill for an additional minute or two, then flip and continue to cook the burger until reaching the desired internal temperature. Melt Aged sliced Cheddar atop each burger.  While cooking burgers, place bottom half of each bun in the 160°F oven, top with sliced Asiago cheese and melt.
  8. Assemble the burger bottom to top in the following order:
  • Bottom half of bun w/ Asiago cheese
  • Top with Parmesan Ranch Sauce,
  • Top with Baby Arugula,
  • Top with sautéed sliced mushrooms
  • Top with burger patty w/ melted Cheddar cheese
  • Top with Red Ale Bacon Jam
  • Top with Beer Battered Red Pepper Straws
  • Top with Barbecue N Brat Sauce
  • Top with top bun half

Makes four 1/3 pound burgers.

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