by for £2.80

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I saw that docu-film Supersize Me the other week for the first time, and I don't know about you, but it made me really WANT a McDonalds. So there was the inspiration to create a truly almighty Supersized Big Mac™... the PimpedMac®.


800g beef mince: £1.24
Special sauce: £0.18
½ lettuce: £0.32
2 onions: £0.16
Cheese slices: £0.44
½ jar pickles: £0.24
Bun ingredients: £0.22

Total cost: £2.80

Some years back the McDonald's corporation was kind enough to tell the entire world exactly what was in a Big Mac™: "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun." All quite straightforward really, apart from that exotic-sounding elixir, special sauce. Just what was so special about the sauce?

I could see this was going to need a huge research effort to find out. 15 seconds later, thanks to my friend and yours – Google – the first link was TopSecretRecipes.com with the precise consituents of special sauce.

It's not really that special, but the recipe does point out that like many great cordon bleu recipes it needs several hours in the fridge to let the flavours develop. So let's make the sauce first:

The dubious-looking substance is a tablespoon of grated onion (and if chopping onions makes you cry, you seriously DON'T want to try grating 'em). The rest is 125ml mayonnaise, 2 tbsp. French dressing, 4 tsp. pickle, 1 tsp. white vinegar, 1 tsp. sugar and 1/8th tsp. salt. Into my Happy Bunnies bowl it goes:

It looks so appetising already I had to exercise great self-control to prevent myself from eating it. The chunks of pickle might have caused texture issues so a quick blast from the blender sorted that out:

A quick taste, and amazingly, it does actually taste quite convincing.

Into the fridge with the special sauce and time now for the Sesame Seed Bun. Like all self-respecting bread machine owners I have a bread machine recipe book. Happily it contains a recipe for hamburger buns, with the odd specification that the sesame seeds are "optional" - what's a Sesame Seed Bun without sesame seeds?

After 90 minutes of the bread machine's magic we have a rather pleasing dough:

The recipe allegedly makes 9 rolls, or 3 PimpedMac® layers.

I don't have baking trays big enough for these babies so on to oiled foil they go. The substance on the far right of this photo that looks like a bottle of urine is actually sunflower oil. It's amazing what flash photography does to colours.

Half an hour to rise..... so let's check on the special sauce.. It appears to be thickening nicely. This is all going suspiciously well. After rising, one of the three dough pieces needs brushing with milk and sesame seeds. If you're keeping up, you will have deduced that this will form the top layer of the Sesame Seed Bun.

After 12 minutes baking, the bun is done... a bit mis-shapen perhaps but it all adds to its rustic charm:

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