After 23 years of devouring Big Macs (I remember talking my parents into buying me one at the McDonald's on the Naval base in Hawaii when I was 10), I decided it was only natural to try the "Big Mock." I found a recipe for the burger clone on page 28 of The Great Big Burger Book
-- including step-by-step instructions for creating the "special sauce" -- and knew pretty much immediately that it would be #3 in my quest to expand my burger-making skills.
Admittedly, it had been a few years since I'd had a Big Mac. I'm more of a BK kind of guy and when I do go to McDonald's I usually get the Quarter Pounder. So, in order to accurately compare the look and taste of the Big Mock to its real life counterpart, I grabbed two Big Macs on my way home from work.
Anyone born before 1980 remembers the commercials. A Big Mac is made of "two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun." Pictured here is the finely chopped onion, chopped lettuce, two thin three-ounce beef patties (90 percent lean) and the special sauce (2 tbsp Thousand Island dressing, 1 tbsp French dressing, 1 tbsp mayo, 1 tbsp sweet pickle relish, 1 tbsp finely grated onion, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar and a pinch of salt).
Here we see the Big Mac (left) with the Big Mock (right). Overall, the Mock tasted very much like the Mac. The obvious difference between the two being the slightly meatier Mock. Despite how flatly I pressed each three-ounce patty, it still plumped up when I cooked them in the oiled pan. The meat was the hardest ingredient to duplicate and, as the dominant fixture in both sandwiches, it clearly made the biggest difference in taste, texture and appearance.
In the end, I liked the Big Mock. The tangy special sauce was a nice break from the usual ketchup and mustard combo. The diced onion was also a tasty addition. It's something I rarely put on burgers, but plan to try more of in the future.
A full set of pictures, including a side-by-side interior shot, can be seen here