Sometimes the best recipes are those that combine two or more unique ideas. Loose Meat Big Mac Burgers taste just like a Big Mac, are made like a Loose Meat Sandwich, and look like a Sloppy Joe! Get your mouth around this burger and taste just how good fresh and homemade can be!
So, if you have read any of my posts since March of 2020, you might know that we spend much of our time at our home outside the city. Do you know that outside the city means? No fast food! That’s right; whenever we get a craving we have to make a choice – drive into town or make it ourselves. Loose Meat Big Mac Burgers are one of those recipes that satisfies the craving and tastes so much better than the alternative.
Am I saying that this burger is exactly like McDonald’s Big Mac? No! I’m saying that it’s better! And, you can make it at home in about thirty minutes. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve waited much longer than that for fast food delivery that has not tasted very good at all. The hardest part of this recipe is saying no to a second or a third burger. Luckily, they’re huge and one is very filling!
THE LAYERS THAT MAKE UP A GREAT BURGER!
If you ask the person sitting next to you what they think is the most important part of a burger, they just might say the meat. Would you agree with them? What if they told you that the most important part was the toppings? Would you agree with them then? What about the bun? What about the cheese? Or, what about the sauce? To me, the answer is simple – all of the above!
The bun has to be fresh, but not too fresh! All of you burger aficionados out there know exactly what I’m talking about. If the bun is too fresh, it feels gummy in the mouth. If it is stale, it breaks and tears rather than almost melting and deflating and becoming a part of the bite. The cheese has to be slightly melted, but not all the way. And, it has to be slightly salty and feel creamy in contrast to the other ingredients.
The toppings need to be fresh as well. And, the desired toppings on burgers vary greatly. For me, it depends on the burger. I pretty much always use lettuce, but tend to only put tomatoes on chicken burgers. What about onions, pickles, mayonnaise, mustard, relish, bbq sauce, etc? The list goes on and on! But, in the case of Loose Meat Big Mac Burgers, we’re sticking with lettuce and pickles only!
Now, what about the meat? The way the meat is cooked, the thickness of the patty, the type of meat, all varies depending on who is preparing the burger. My favourite is loose meat, but if I have to go with meat in patty form, I prefer thin, flat top patties. I’m not a huge fan of overly thick patties that are cooked on the rare side. I also don’t care for stuffed patties – the ones with cheese, or jalapeno poppers, or even onion rings, right in the middle of meat – those are not for me. The meat though, has to taste amazing!! There’s no doubt about that!
LET’S TALK LOOSE MEAT!
What do you call it in your home? Loose meat, ground beef, mince, hamburger? This is how my mind breaks it down. If the ground beef is raw, it’s called ground beef. Once it’s cooked, it becomes loose meat. I don’t know why, but that’s just how it comes out of my mouth. My mother always called it hamburger meat. No matter what you call it, it’s got to be just right to make a great tasting burger.
These Loose Meat Big Mac Burgers are prepared with 100% grass-fed Black Angus lean ground beef. Sounds pretty fancy, doesn’t it? It’s not really. What it means is that the beef is sourced from a cow known as the Black Angus. The beef develops with more marbling than other types of beef. Marbling is the fat that you see running through steaks. It improves flavour, makes the beef more tender, and keeps it moist while cooking, especially when frying or searing.
Just one pound of beef will make four burgers. That’s 1/4 pound of meat on each one. I told you they were big and filling! I source ground beef from Ottawa Valley Meats. The beef is completely antibiotic and hormone-free. And, of course, for me, it’s local! You should always buy your food as local as you possibly can. If for no other reason, it just tastes better!
If you are in Ontario, be sure to check out Ottawa Valley Meats. I absolutely love the quality of the beef, as well as the chicken and the seafood too! The prices are very competitive and they deliver right to your door! It’s a great way to stock up, especially with the upcoming colder months when everyone seems to cook heartier meals!
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
- Ground Beef – I used one pound of ground beef to make 4 burgers. You can easily double or halve the recipe depending on the number of burgers you need.
- Onion – I used white onion in the beef mixture.
- Cheese – In an effort to stay true to a Big Mac Burger, I used sliced processed cheddar cheese.
- Lettuce – Just like in the original, I opted for shredded iceberg lettuce.
- Mac Sauce – Don’t worry, Dear Reader, I have a quick and easy copycat recipe that spot on!
- Pickles – You will need two or three sweet sandwich pickles for each burger.
- Burger Buns – Try to find the buns with the sesame seeds on top!
COPYCAT BIG MAC SAUCE
You can’t have a Loose Meat Big Mac Burger without my Copycat Big Mac Sauce! The sauce is probably the main reason people buy the Bic Mac in the first place. There’s not really anything special about it. The meat is thin, the extra bun layer in the middle is just carbs. And, the lettuce is wilted by the time you eat it!
But, if you make it at home and prepare your own burger, you can make it even bigger and better. Most of the ingredients are probably already in your fridge or pantry! You don’t need to chop anything or cook anything. It’s a matter of whisking the ingredients together and that’s it! Here is what you will need:
- Mayonnaise – This is a calorie dense sauce. You can use light mayonnaise if you wish.
- Ketchup – Any ketchup will do, but I like the tanginess and the sweetness of Heinz.
- Vinegar – Use regular white vinegar. Don’t use flavoured vinegars, it will throw off the taste.
- Relish – Our fridge always has sweet pickle relish, because I use it quite often.
- Onion – You need just a little bit of onion, but it makes a big difference to the taste. Use your box grater to finely grate the onion.
- Lettuce – Classic Big Mac style demands iceberg lettuce, but you can use any lettuce you have on hand.
- Ground Black Pepper – No salt is needed in this recipe, but it does need a bit of warmth. Black pepper is the best way to achieve that!
Measure all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use it. You can certainly make this sauce in advance. It’s safe in the fridge for up to two weeks!
SEASONING THE GROUND BEEF
In addition to the ingredients above, you will need to properly season the ground beef in order to make your Loose Meat Big Mac Burger taste like an original Big Mac. You will need a little olive oil, some salt, ground black pepper, and a little garlic powder. And, you will need Worcestershire sauce as well as soy sauce. Simple enough, right?
It’s important that the ground beef is cooked in small pieces. In most ground beef recipes, you break up the beef with your spoon or spatula as you cook it. You can do that if you wish, but I like to slice the ground beef first. Ground beef comes in a rectangular shape consisting of elongated squiggly lines of beef, right? Open the package and lay the beef onto a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut across the lines of ground beef in 1/4-1/2 inch increments. Now there’s no need to stand there and break it apart as it cooks!
Here’s how I cook the beef. Start by adding the onions to the skillet with the oil. Over medium heat, cook the onions for 4-5 minutes until they are cooked through. Add the ground beef and stir it into the onions. Once just a little bit of pink remains, add the salt, ground black pepper, and garlic powder. Stir it into the beef and continue to cook until all signs of pink are gone.
Finally, add the Worcestershire sauce and the soy sauce. Stir well to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes more. This will finish off the beef and give it time to absorb the flavours. Turn off the heat and allow the beef to rest for a 2-3 minutes while you set the table.
ASSEMBLING THE BURGER
The way a burger is assembled is just as important as the ingredients used to make it. I’m quite picky when it comes to how the layers of a burger are sandwiched between the bun. Because I love sauce so much, I always smear it liberally on both the top and the bottom part of the bun. You can hold the sauce, double the sauce, or even dip the burger in the sauce. It’s entirely up to you!
But, for the purpose of keeping this Loose Meat Big Mac Burger as close to the original Big Mac as possible, I’m going to layer it up accordingly. First, you need to make that ground beef mixture and little less loose. To do that, add 3/4 cup of the Big Mac Sauce to the skillet once the ground beef is fully cooked and cooled for a few minutes. Stir the sauce into the beef until well combined.
Top the bottom bun with sauce and then a generous helping of the ground beef mixture. I like to use a spring operated ice cream scoop to mound it high. Next, top the meat with pickle slices and the shredded lettuce. Add a slice of cheese. Smear the top half of the bun with more sauce and smoosh it onto the burger. Don’t worry if some of the meat falls out. That’s exactly what it should do!
These burgers are very filling and you don’t need to serve something heavy with them. I love burgers with coleslaw, and I happened to have some in the fridge already. We also had some potato wedges leftover from the night before, so I reheated those to go with it. Obviously, the first thought is fries, and you can totally do that!
Normally, whenever I make a loose meat sandwich, I like to serve it with a handful of kettle cooked potato chips and a few pickle slices on the side. You could serve these burgers with a green salad too. That would make a lovely meal!
Loose Meat Big Mac Burgers
- 1 1/2 cups Copycat Big Mac Sauce (see link in notes section below)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, finely diced
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 4 burger buns
- 12 sweet pickles
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 4 cheese slices
- Prepare the Copycat Big Mac Sauce according to my easy recipe found in the link in the post above. You can also search for the recipe on my site. The sauce can be eaten right away, however, it is best if left to sit in the fridge for at least two hours.
- To prepare the loose meat, start by adding the onions to the skillet with the oil. Over medium heat, cook the onions for 4-5 minutes until they are cooked through.
- Add the ground beef and stir it into the onions. Once just a little bit of pink remains, add the salt, ground black pepper, and garlic powder. Stir it into the beef and continue to cook until all signs of pink are gone.
- Finally, add the Worcestershire sauce and the soy sauce. Stir well to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Turn off the heat and allow the beef to rest for a 2-3 minutes before assembling the burgers.
- Add 3/4 cup of the Big Mac Sauce to the skillet once the ground beef is fully cooked and cooled for a few minutes. Stir the sauce into the beef until well combined.
- Top the bottom bun with sauce and then 1/4 of the ground beef mixture.
- Next, top the meat with pickle slices and the shredded lettuce. Add a slice of cheese.
- Smear the top half of the bun with more sauce and smoosh it onto the burger. Don’t worry if some of the meat falls out. That’s exactly what it should do!
- Serve immediately and enjoy!