I really like McDs if you don’t already know. I think the dickheads that sneer at fast food should just stick with their lifeless organic tofu BS. In reality, they want the salt, the fat and the convenience of a 1 minute wait time.

In truth, I myself must admit that it’s a lot of nostalgia at play. I grew up lovin’ it and I still do. Perhaps the cocaine rumours are true? I don’t really care. In my food shrine, it’s obvious that there will be little statuettes of Adria, Blumenthal, Keller et al. but they will be standing under a pair of golden arches.

One of the many things I like at Maccas is the venerable Sausage & Egg McMuffin. There’s just something special about that microwaved soggy muffin bun and that shitty American cheese and the overly seasoned patty or greyed out overcooked yolks. Fine dining it ain’t but the taste boffins who work behind the scenes have done an amazing job at polishing a $3 turd into something that gets churned out in restaurant after restaurant in country after country, day after day. It’s incredible how this amalgamation of bad cooking with a paucity of ingredients can create something so humbly delicious.

Whilst I can’t promise to best the holy McMuffin, it is my intention and dream to produce an homage. Keeping true to that homage will involve keeping costs down; otherwise it wouldn’t be a McMuffin. I just really want to replicate 80% of the flavour of a good McMuffin and change up a few things, mostly the cooking techniques.

First off, I’m definitely going to attempt to bake my own English muffins. This isn’t because I think store bought muffins are terrible. They’re quite good to be honest but I want to keep costs down and baking instead of buying could be worthwhile. If I run my calculations after a test run and find a negligible difference in cost, then I’ll let taste be the judge. Or I could just buy ’em in. No disgrace. Regardless of where they come from, these will get toasted lightly on the bottom in clarified butter for some crispy edged goodness.

The egg component is essential for me. I really like how the bland egg white balances that super salty twang from the patty and for a muffin, it’s got to be cooked through. The original has fully cooked, grainy yolks that can sometimes be gray even. This is obviously bad and I propose a two part cooking process. First I’ll cook the eggs in their shells up to around 65 degrees for say 45 minutes. I intend for 65 for a more ramen egg yolk rendition rather than the typical 63 you see almost everywhere that would be way too runny and spill out before you even get your first bite, resulting in yolk all over your hands. This is fine if you enjoy licking your fingers in a pseudo self satisfaction sorta scenario but I’d imagine a portable breakfast meal would be much better off if it weren’t too messy. Whilst the yolks are set, the whites will still be too runny at that low temperature so further cooking will be required. In this instance, I will either fry them in an egg ring and flip quickly or just deep fry the damn thing rapidly. Hopefully I’ll end up with nice firm whites and a smudgy golden interior.

The cheese is a no brainer. I could perhaps make it by myself but in all honesty, I’m going with pre sliced American cheese from a supplier for sure. If you’re going to replicate the flavour of the original, then using the same cheese is essential. Plus, it’s got the look. It’s bloody orange and there’s not a lot of other cheeses stained with annatto that cost next to nothing. Sometimes, you don’t change anything.

The patty is going to take me the longest time ever. I’ve decided that it’s probably going to be 100% beef with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and perhaps some spices but I have in my mind this mealy, fall apart in your mouth texture. I kinda prefer it more like a hamburger rather than a fully binded sausage mix. This is mostly because I had this chorizo from Porteno that just crumbled away brilliantly.  I’m hoping to achieve this by grinding up good fatty beef so there will be lots of fat pockets that will melt away and have the seasoning before it gets minced so everything gets mixed up together. This is so that I’ll have to touch the patties as little as possible. Then, I might run with Heston Blumenthal’s “grain direction” burger patty method or I might just say fuck it and just cut them into rounds after laying them on a tray. I just don’t want to mess with em too much so the mince has a looseness to it. This will be fried in clarified butter but rested well so the meat juices won’t make the thing unportable.

I don’t want to make a burger, I’m definitely going to make a muffin but I sure as hell want it to feel a little decadent and over the top and so messy you need a box of tissues next to you when consuming. Here’s test version one with a couple of runny yolked overeasies that made me feel a little naughty. I used store bought muffins and Kraft singles this time round but next time will be full on! The day will come when I will send out a S&EM  (hehe see what I did there?) in custom graphic baking paper and a triple cooked hash brown on the side.

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