Monday, 16 April 2012

Home-Made Whopper with Onion Rings

Hello, my name is Reggie, and I'm a recreate-my-own-fast-food-at-home-aholic.

The fact that Mrs Ribeye and I have broken our meat-free week today has spurred me on even more to crave a hamburger - and what better way to eat a hamburger than with Burger King's signature dish? The thing is, I cannot bring myself to take a short walk to my local branch in Marylebone station - it's not that I'm lazy, it's just that I only reserve eating in fast food restaurants for when I'm drunk and/or have lost all powers of reason.

I'm not saying that BK, KFC, McD or any of the other chains sell unhealthy food, but... oh, who am I kidding? Of course they do! Their food is most probably choc-full of fat, refined sugars and a million other nasties that started life in a test tube.

So, I make my own burgers at home and stick as closely as I can to the fast food chain's recipe, but use healthier stuff instead. Instead of mayo, I use light mayo. Instead of 80/20 chuck steak, I use 6% fat. Instead of onion rings, I use... no I still use shop-bought breaded onion rings - they're way better than making your own. As far as the famous flame-grilling aspect of the burger is concerned, I use a ridged grill pan with a fierce heat underneath to simulate the bars of a barbecue. Excellent.

At some point I will aim to make McDonald's special sauce, so that I can recreate my own Big Mac, but I am full of trepidation. A couple of years ago, I went online to see whether I could make my own Subway Southwest Sauce. Some guy from Montana or somewhere, suggested mixing mayonnaise with lime juice and chipotle chillies in adobo. I shopped online to buy the chipotles and awaited eagerly for the jar to arrive from the Mexican grocer. When it finally came, I carefully mixed it with the mayo and the lime juice in the specified proportions, and tasted a big spoonful. I was horrified! Not only did it taste nothing like Subway's famous sauce, it actually tasted like body odour. On a hot day. In a taxi. On a leatherette seat.

Completely and utterly repugnant. The chipotles on their own were fine though, so all was not lost, but I need to get over the experience for another year or two before I trust anyone enough to offer me their take on their Big Mac sauce recipe. Or invite me into a taxi.

Anyway, today's dish uses no such special ingredients - just good beef, good bread, good veg and a couple of store-bought sauces. I checked exactly how they make Whoppers in Burger King, including the proportions of each ingredient, and I can assure you that the method I am showing you is absolutely authentic.

Oh the other thing, is that BK is pretty expensive these days - unlike this burger and onion rings, which will only set you back £2.50 per serving.

Serves 1


150g ground steak
1 large sesame seeded white bun
2 slices of mild white onion
2 slices of tomato
2 slices of pickled gherkin
1 iceberg lettuce leaf, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon of light mayonnaise

Breaded onion rings, to serve

In a blisteringly hot ridged grill pan, fry the burger on both sides until well done. Split and toast the sesame seeded bun and spread the top half with the mayonnaise. Place the cooked burger patty on the lower bun and spread with the ketchup. Place the onion and gherkin slices on the burger, and the lettuce and tomato slices on the top half of the bun. Place the two halves of the burger together and serve with the onion rings.

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