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Takeout Tuesday: The Big Zirb

My own interpretation of the ever popular Big Mac. Main difference here, is that this one is actually edible.

BLOG POSTINGS > Everyday Meals

Takeout Tuesday: The Big Zirb

by zirbirt

A while back, my wife and I stopped eating McDonalds. It's a story I love to tell, and usually comes right after someone happens to see our wedding pictures. Seeing us, back then, immediately draws the question of how did we lose so much weight.

A few years after our wedding, we weren't looking to lose weight. We really didn't even concern ourselves with the idea. It all started because of an article. The article was about McDonalds and how they "treat" their meat. The article claimed that McDonalds used meat labeled as "not fit for human consumption" and treated it in chemicals that would kill off the parasites and bacteria, to make it edible.

My immediate reaction to this article was highly skeptical. I assumed this was just another media attempt to trash fast food. It may well have been, but it got me thinking. I mean I have no clue what I am eating when I eat fast food. My wife, who at the time was pregnant, is putting God knows what into her body and passing it on to my unborn baby. Was this really something I wanted to mess around with?

So my wife and I talked and we decided we would take a month off from fast food. I had a good amount of cooking experience, so I decided I would start cooking gourmet meals with fresh ingredients every night... and I did. It was pretty awesome, food wise... a different dinner every night.

After about a month, I was shocked (quite literally) when my pants fell down to my ankles as I was stepping out the front door. It was strange because my pants had never behaved like this before. So, I decided to step on the scale and see what was happening. Turns out, I had lost almost 20lbs.

This was actually a lot more shocking than you might imagine. I seriously had not intended to lose weight. I had no real idea that it was happening, and didn't even notice that my pants were getting more and more comfortable. I wasn't eating any less than normal, and I wasn't trying to make "healthy" dinners. I was just making stuff I thought would be yummy.

Well, that settled it for me, I stayed away from fast food ever since... and gradually, slowly.. they weight continued to come off. So now, I don't believe in dieting, I do believe in making smarter choices.

Now after our child was born, time was tighter and daily trips to the grocery store became a difficult thing to do. So, I had to change my ways, yet again, and try to discover a way to make delicious food, using dried, canned and frozen ingredients... in about 30 minutes. It took some time to adjust, but I did.

Now, why would I talk about weight loss just before posting a God Awful, unhealthy burger? Well, the reason for this burger is to celebrate that decision. It was a choice that changed our lives, and gave us more energy, made us feel better about ourselves and made our lives genuinely better... plus it led to a lot of really good food, and is the bulk of the reason I started Cooking Skillups.

This burger is an homage to the Big Mac.

The Big Zirb

Ok, Im just gonna shoot from the hip on this one. No ingredient list, just a step by step of how I made this monstrosity.

I started by heating my oven to 350 degrees. I also put my skillet on medium heat and let it heat up for about 10-15 minutes. I want that skillet good and hot.

Since no monster burger is a monster without bacon, I take 8 strips and place them on a baking rack in a foil lined cookie sheet. These go into my preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes.

While the bacon is baking, I separate 1lb of ground beef (80/20) into 4 1/4lb balls. I pack each ball like I would a snowball... not a snowball I want to hurt someone with, but one I want to stay together nicely.

I then press down each ball, till it is about 1/4 inch thick.

I sprinkle on some kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

These go onto the griddle and are left alone for 3 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, I take 3 large Kaiser buns (any large or jumbo sized bun will do)...

2 of the buns are the actual burger buns. The third will be my middles. To accomplish that, I start with 1 bun.

Using my bread knife, I slice the top at about half way. I slice the bottom so pretty much just the bottom crust comes off.

Now I have 2 normal buns (top and bottom) and 2 insert buns.. I toast all of it.

Then I grab a small bowl and add in: 3Tbs Mayonaise, 1Tbs Ketchup, 1Tbs dill relish, dash of kosher salt, dash of mustard powder, and a dash of onion powder.

I stir this until it is fully combined

I also shred some lettuce and slice some onion.

Once my burgers have been cooking for 3 minutes, I flip them over and give them 2 minutes.

After 2 minutes, I bring all 4 patties together and lay some cheese on them. I don't like melted American, I just find it too runny. So I use shredded cheese.

I then place a metal bowl over them to kinda tent in the heat and steam.. so as to melt the cheese. If you don't have a metal bowl, a baking pan, metal pot, or even a lid works.

After I minute, I turn off the heat and remove the bowl.


I start by laying down a bun bottom. I add a layer of my sauce, then a handful of the lettuce.

On top of that, I lay a patty, then 2 slices of bacon (brown in half).

I place my middle bun on top of that.

I add sauce to the top of my middle bun, then another patty.

I place 2 more slices of bacon (also broken in half) on top of the patty.

Then I add on some sliced onion and some pickles... and finally I add sauce to the top bun and set it on top.

And there you have it... The only thing left to do is figure out how to eat it.

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