I have a love connection with Big Macs from McDonalds.
I rarely let myself indulge because I tend to feel sick afterward. And that was even before I watched Super Size Me. But I still crave them all the time.
Which has motivated me to find a way to recreate the same mouth-watering, sans-additive version that can be made at home, where you know full-well what foods and ingredients you are ingesting.
The key is to up the fat and salt factor as much as possible. Warning. This is not healthy. I repeat. Not healthy.
There is a fun, trendy ingredient I included as well. Black garlic. It elevates the standard Big Mac sauce into smokey, ferment-y & slightly funky sauce. I wouldn’t use in place of fresh garlic, but since I’m big into funky foods, I will be experimenting more with it. It certainly worked here.
A cast-iron pan works just as well as a griddle that may be used at Micky D’s, especially a nicely, seasoned worn-in one that you barely (or never) wash with detergent soap.
I did not know this was a thing at first.
Lodge, a great brand that I buy from, has a guide on how to properly maintain your cast iron cookware. It involves just gentle scrubbing, rinsing with water, drying immediately afterward and applying a bit of whatever neutral cooking oil you have on hand to prevent rusting and discoloration.
In my case, my pan has built up so many layers of savory flavor that the foods I cook on it taste more complex and developed. Like a fine cheese or wine, it just gets better with time (in this case, usage).
So go with me on this one – live your best life and pig out. At least it’s “healthy” because you’re not eating the McDonald’s, right?
Here is a picture of my sweet puppy, Ina. Her favorite toy is her squeaky cheeseburger. I bet she wishes she could have one of these cheeseburgers, but she’ll have to stick with her puppy chow instead. For now. 😊
I N G R E D I E N T S
- 1 1 / 2 lbs. ground beef, 80% lean to 20% fat ratio
- Sesame seed hamburger buns
- 1 / 8 head iceberg lettuce, sliced to a chiffonade
- 8 slices American Kraft Singles
- 1 / 2 small white onion, minced finely
- 1 jar kosher dill pickle chips
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus additional as needed
- 6 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
F o r t h e S p e c i a l S a u c e
- 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 teaspoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 pickle chips, minced finely
- 1 / 2 teaspoon pickle juice
- 2 dashes Tabasco hot sauce
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
O p t i o n a l
- 1 clove black garlic, minced
D I R E C T I O N S
- Prepare the beef patties. Take portions of the ground beef, rolling each to the size of a large golf ball and place on a plate.
- Chiffonade the iceberg lettuce very finely. Mince the white onion. Prepare to have 2 pickle chips per cheeseburger. Unwrap the American Kraft Singles and have on hand nearby.
- For the special sauce, combine all ingredients and set in the fridge to chill. Taste for seasonings, adding more salt (or hot sauce 😊) if desired.
- Heat the cast iron skillet with one tablespoon of butter. Make sure the pan is searing hot, but not so hot that the butter begins to burn.
- Place as many halved buns as possible in the skillet and allow to soak up the butter and brown, probably 2 – 3 minutes per batch, making sure they do not burn. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of butter as necessary until all are toasted. Once toasted, remove the buns from the skillet to another plate.
- To cook the patties, add yet another tablespoon of butter. Once heated through, place two rounds of beef in the skillet, and flatten with all the strength you have with a metal spatula. Sprinkle both with 1 /4 teaspoon (a dash or so) of salt. The irregular shape will not matter. Just make sure the patty is as flat as possible, while still being thick enough to hold together.
- After 2 – 3 minutes, flip the burgers. Place the cheese on top of each. Allow the cheese to melt completely so it oozes over the edges, cooking for an additional 2 – 3 minutes. Once cooked, set aside to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Continue to cook the patties in batches until all are done, adding a tablespoon of butter to the pan before each new batch. There should be two cheese-covered patties per cheeseburger.
- To arrange the cheeseburgers, spread 1 tablespoon of the special sauce on the bottom of the bun. Place two pickle chips on top. Then add the first cheese-covered patty, and then the second. Sprinkle with a teaspoon or so of minced white onion, then a thin layer of iceberg lettuce. Top with another 1 tablespoon of the special sauce.
- Smush the cheeseburgers down a bit so that the cheese and special sauce have a chance to ooze together and mingle.
- Serve immediately. You know you can’t wait any longer!