“Little Dev” (aka: McDonald’s Big Mac Makeover)


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“Little Dev” (aka: McDonald’s: Big Mac Makeover)

The key to re-creating the Big Mac is obviously perfecting the sauce. Some say it’s simply Thousand Island, but the clever folks at McDonald’s deserve much more credit for this masterpiece we crave. In order to re-create the sauce, I had to ensure that I had a supply that I could taste on its own—away from the other great flavors this burger stacks. So I requested “extra on the side.” The friendly woman behind the counter didn’t flinch. She quickly produced a sundae cup half-filled with the neon, salmon-colored sauce. When I took a big sniff, all I could smell was a chemicalesque aroma. Tasting, on the other hand, yielded that wonderful flavor. Several tastings and I was convinced. The secret ingredient? Mustard. Simple yellow mustard. Add that and a pinch of sugar to a Thousand Island–style sauce, and you’ll be surprised how closely it resembles the real deal.


3.5 ounces 96% lean ground beef (about 1⁄3 cup)
2 pinches of salt
1 sesame seed hamburger bun + 1 bun bottom
1 slice (1⁄2 ounce) 2% milk yellow American cheese
1 teaspoon very finely chopped white onion
1⁄3 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
4 rounds dill pickle
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Devin’s McDonald’s Big Mac Sauce

McDonald’s Big Mac Sauce:
1⁄3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dill pickle relish
2 teaspoons ketchup
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon finely chopped white onion


Divide the beef in half. On a sheet of waxed paper, shape each half into a 4″ patty. Season both sides with salt. Transfer the waxed paper to a plate. Place, uncovered, in the freezer for 5 minutes.

To make the Big Mac Sauce, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, relish, ketchup, sugar, and mustard. Stir to blend well. Makes about 2⁄3 cup, enough for 4 servings of sauce. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Stir the onion into the sauce just before serving.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until drops of water sizzle when splashed on the pan. Place the patties in the pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until no longer pink. Meanwhile, place the bun top and bottoms, cut-sides down, in the pan. Cook for about 1 minute, or until toasted. (If the pan is not large enough to hold the patties and the buns, first cook 1 patty with the bottom bun and then start assembling the sandwich while the others cook.) Just before the patties are cooked, place the cheese on 1 patty.

Place 1 bun bottom on a plate. Spread on 1 tablespoon sauce. Place the cheeseburger, cheese-side down, on the bun. Spread 1 teaspoon sauce on the second bun bottom and place, sauce-side down, on the cheeseburger. Top with the remaining 1 tablespoon sauce, the onion, lettuce, pickles, the remaining burger, and the bun top.

Each serving of sauce has:
49 calories, trace protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, trace sat. fat, trace fiber

Each Big Mac Serving with sauce has:
386 calories, 26 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 3 g sat. fat, 2 g fiber

Reprinted from Fast Food Fix by Devin Alexander (c) 2006 by Devin Alexander. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold or directly from the publisher by calling (800) 848-4735. www.devinalexander.com Photo Credit: Lisa Cohen
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