Part of my philosophy on food and nutrition is moderation. Still there are some things I just avoid altogether, and McDonald’s happens to be one of them. Instead, I choose to make my family cheeseburgers at home using bakery buns, farmers market cheese, grass fed beef and tomatoes from my backyard garden. It tastes better, and I know where the food came from.
However, there are some members of the family – ahem, my husband – who have cravings. Cravings for the college food of the past, for the drive-thru classics, for a McDonald’s Big Mac. Seeing as how I married the guy, had his babies and love him dearly, I’m inclined to give him what he wants, and the fast food fare appears in our kitchen window, hot off the grill.
Faking a McDonald’s Big Mac is easy. A bit of thousand island dressing serves as your special sauce, you split your regular burger and pat out two thin ones, cut the bun into thirds and pretty soon you have “two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, all on a sesame seed bun.” Toss it in a paper-lined basket with some seasoned and baked french fries and you have one happy man ready for sitting down to enjoy the game or just hang out with the family on a perfect autumn evening.
McDonald’s Big Mac Copycat Recipe
2 uncut bakery buns (with sesame seeds for authenticity)
1/2 pound ground beef
1 slice cheddar cheese or 2 thin slices (don’t bother with the American stuff, not even for authenticity)
1/4 cup shredded lettuce
1 dill pickle, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons diced onions
1/4 cup thousand island dressing
Light the grill. Cut the bakery buns into thirds and butter the cut sides. Split the ground beef into four equal parts (1/8th pound each) and pat each portion into a thin circle, larger than the size of the bun to allow for shrinkage. Place the patties on the 400-degree grill and grill four minutes. Flip and cover with cheese slices. Grill an additional 4 minutes or to desired doneness.
Remove patties from grill and allow to rest while you lightly toast the buns. This will help them support the stacking that comes with building a Big Mac.
Build your Big Mac: bottom bun > patty covered with cheese > lettuce > thousand island dressing on bottom of the middle bun > patty (covered with cheese) > onions > pickles > more lettuce > thousand island dressing on the top bun.
Makes 2 large, 1/3-pound burgers.