Friday, 8 November 2013

Homemade Big Mac


Vincent: And you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
Jules: They don't call it Quarter Pounder with Cheese?
Vincent: No man, they got the metric system. They wouldn't know what the f*** a Quarter Pounder is.
Jules: Then what do they call it?
Vincent: They call it a Royale with Cheese.
Jules: A Royale with Cheese. 
Vincent: That's right.
Jules: What do they call a Big Mac?
Vincent: Well a Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big-Mac.
Jules: Le Big-Mac. *laughs* What do they call a Whopper?
Vincent: I dunno, I didn't go into Burger King.
~ Pulp Fiction

Oh yes my friends, that is two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun.  A Homemade Big Mac.

I don't know bout you but after a gruelling week of exams/work/life what this girl wants, what this girl needs, is some good honest trash food.  Greasy salty junky awesomeness. Get in my belly.

I'd been meaning to make burgers for dinner for a while now.  And if you're going to make burgers why not tackle THE burger right?

{le big mac}

Before you lament the devolution of my culinary endeavors, the homemade version of the poster child for fast food actually isn't that terrible for you.

With freshly baked burger buns, premium lean beef mince, fresh crispy lettuce, cheddar cheese, and special sauce made with light mayonnaise, the homemade version is not a half bad meal. 

See, you can have your burger and eat it too!


The star of the show really is the Special Sauce.  I used a tweaked version of the infamous Top Secret Recipes version by Todd Wilbur.  Confession time: I haven't ever eaten a Big Mac before (I'm more a Deluxe Cheeseburger kinda girl) but C is a hard core Big Mac fanatic and he reckons the sauce is pretty spot on.  I did have to buy a bunch of American ingredients like the sweet pickle relish and American style french dressing from this online store (it's in Auckland) but it was worth it!

To be fair, I might go on about having healthy fresh ingredients but I found using proper tasty cheddar cheese in the burger was actually a little off putting so this may be the one and only reason I'd go buy some of that plastic cheese stuff.

Making the burger buns was probably the most time consuming bit and I wasn't absolutely thrilled with the texture of the buns so if I was making these again, especially for a weekday meal, I would have definitely opt for some store burger buns.  And I forgot the sesame seeds doh!


And the verdict?

Oh my word.

I can kinda see why around 550 million of these puppies are sold each year in just the US alone.  Hafta say though, the homemade version is a million times better for you AND better tasting!



Homemade Big Macs

Burger buns
adapted from Allrecipes.com recipe
makes 6 burgers

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
30g butter
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp dried yeast
2 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten

1. In a small saucepan heat the milk, water, butter, and sugar until quite warm but not boiling and the butter has melted.  Allow to cool to lukewarm or only just warm to touch (really important it is not too hot when you add the yeast!).  Add the yeast and let it sit and bubble for 10 minutes.

2. Add 1 Tablespoon of the beaten egg to the milk/yeast mixture (reserve the rest for the egg wash). Add the flour to the milk/yeast mixture 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition until you get a dough.  Tip out to a clean, floured bench and knead for around 8 minutes until the dough is soft and smoothish. Divide into 6 balls and place on a lined/floured baking tray well spaced apart.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours until they have almost doubled in size.

3. Preheat the oven to 200oC.  Mix the remaining beaten egg with 1 Tbsp cold water and brush over the buns.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and the buns sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Put on a wire rack right away to cool. These buns are best eaten on the day.


Special Sauce
adapted from Top Secret Recipes version by Todd Wilbur.  Apparently the brands of products are important to get the taste right!

1/2 cup light Good Foods/Hellman's Mayonnaise
3 Tablespoon American style French Dressing (Kraft or Wishbone) (it looks orange in the bottle)
1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons Heinz Sweet Pickle Relish
1 Tablespoon very finely minced onion
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
big pinch salt

Mix it all together and refrigerate in a covered container for at least 3 hours or overnight to let the flavours develop.

Makes enough for 6 burgers.

Patties
800g premium lean beef mince.
salt and pepper

1. Divide into 6 even balls.  Flatten onto a piece of baking paper to around 1 cm thick and shape into a round disc. Season with a pinch of salt and grind of black pepper per patty. You can place the shaped patties into the freezer for a bit to harden up to help them maintain their shape but I just shaped them as I went on a piece of baking paper and used the paper to transfer onto the pan.

2. Heat a heavy skillet with a little oil.  Cook the patties for around 1-2 minutes on each side to brown. 

Other fillings
lettuce, finely sliced
onion, very finely diced
gherkins, finely sliced
thin slice of cheddar cheese (or one of those plastic slices of cheese for a more authentic taste).

Assembling the burger
1. Cut each burger into thirds (making the bun layer slightly thinner than top and bottom).

2. Assemble in this order:
  • Bottom bun
  • Tablespoon special sauce, spread out
  • Lettuce
  • Little bit of onion
  • Beef Patty
  • Cheese
  • Middle bun
  • Tablespoon special sauce, spread out
  • Lettuce
  • Little bit of onion
  • Gherkins
  • Beef Patty
  • Top bun
3. Enjoy your Mac attack in the comfort of your own home.

{epic scene: royale with cheese}


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