Friday, May 21, 2010

Homemade Big Macs Make for Great Food Porn

Ain't nothing like starting your morning off right with a big, thick slice of food porn, and in my humble opinion, this homemade version of a McDonald's Big Mac ranks up there with some of the best drool worthy shots out there. Clearly, this photo does not reflect a professional photographers hand (albeit mine), but dang, just look at it-- the grease, the half-melty cheese, that shiny burger all glistening with fatty goodness just waiting, waiting for you to dive in and do with it what you will.

Many folks take serious issues with Micky D's and, in some cases, rightly so. Not only will a Big Mac double your butt size, but who the heck knows what's in that combo of pressed meat, sugary buns, shocking orange cheese product and "special" sauce? That's why instead of rolling the Mickey D's roulette wheel of mystery ingredients and hitting the drive-thru, I set out to recreate the Big Mac myself, and you know what?  It tasted better-- a lot better. In fact, when I wrote about my Big Mac experiment for my cooking column in The Richmond Times Dispatch a few years back, my readers simply raved about the recipe.

No frozen patties here. Only ground beef pressed by hand (that's at least 15 percent fat). And, the sauce?  That's homemade, too (meaning, no cheating with Thousand Island dressing, although there is a wee bit in the recipe as you'll note).

So, let me leave you with two things: one more money shot along with a tasty burger recipe that might cause you to reconsider that next happy meal in favor of whipping up your own at home.

Very Special Burger Sauce

¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Mix all together and refrigerate until ready to use.

To Assemble Very Special Burgers
Makes one burger

2 thin hamburger patties
Salt and pepper
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large sesame seed buns
One slice American cheese
2 tablespoon finely minced onion
½ cup finely shredded lettuce
3 slices dill pickles

Heat a grill pan or griddle to medium high.

Lightly salt and pepper hamburger patties.  Add vegetable oil to pan and cook each burger until the juices run clean. Remove burgers and set aside. 

Take one of the buns, open it, and place each bun face down on the grill. Take the other bun and remove the heel (bottom part of the bun) and place it face down on the grill (save top part of bun for another burger).  Toast each bun well, letting it soak up a little of the leftover burger grease.

To assemble, spread one tablespoon of the Very Special Burger Sauce on the bottom bun and top with one tablespoon minced onions and some shredded lettuce. Top with the slice of cheese and then one of the burger patties.  Next add the remaining bottom bun.  Spread it with more dressing, minced onion, shredded lettuce, pickle slices and then add the second burger. Top with the remaining top bun.

Now, get yourself a bib and a pile of napkins and dive in! This is one deliciously, messy burger.
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  1. That's one serious Big Mac... I'd take that one over the real thing any day!

  2. gotta love a good big mac!! your looks most excellent!

  3. Yummy Yummy!! Your burger look so great!!

  4. Thanks guys! My guilty pleasure is a Big Mac every now and then, so it just made sense to try to make one at home. Was honestly surprised how good it turned out.


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