This has been a great year for gastronomical innovation. KFC really threw the gloves down when it came out with the Double Down, a sandwich that uses fried chicken for the bun, with bacon, cheese, and sauce inside. Though initially subjected to ridicule, the DD has endured well by being tasty and healthier than much of its competition (unless evaluated per calorie). Eventually, more sandwich innovation appeared. Friendly's introduced a hamburger with grilled cheese sandwiches for buns, the Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt. Denny's now has a Fried Cheese Melt, a grilled cheese sandwich with fried Mozzarella sticks in it. At some fairgrounds you might find a cheeseburger topped with chocolate-covered bacon in a Krispy Kreme donut bun. Inspired by all this inventiveness, I decided to build an homage to the American spirit of sandwich creation. I give you the Real American:
Step 1: Construct the buns
I cut Tyson hardwood smoked thick-cut bacon in half (use any kind you like, I just got what was on sale for under $3.50/lb and looked meatiest), then wove the halves together.
Step 2: Cook the buns
I microwaved the buns between paper towels for 6 minutes, two buns per plate. I have experimented with many ways of cooking bacon, and microwaving is fast and easy to clean up while producing evenly-cooked, flat, crisp bacon. These buns held together great, were nice and crisp, and not too greasy on the hands.
Step 3: Make burger patties
I used Laura's 92% lean ground beef because it was marked down for sale before expiration. Of course, use whatever you want. I mixed in garlic powder, pepper flakes, and Worcestershire sauce, then hand packed the patties to be thin and fit the buns after cooking shrinkage. The Worcestershire sauce added a really great flavor. These patties are about 3 oz each and some change.
Step 4: Cook the burger patties
They cooked up great in my cast iron skillet, and I thought I took a picture, but it looks like I forgot.
Step 5: Assembly
Assembly was a piece of cake. First sub-bun:
Step 6: Eat that mammer:
This was absolutely delicious, and I will make it again. Worcestershire sauce, caramelized onions, and goat cheese rocked out on this sandwich. The Real American was dinner for two people.
6 slices of bacon - about 240 calories - about $2
10 oz of lean beef - about 400 calories - about $3
1 oz Colby-jack - about 110 calories - about $0.25
a mushroom - negligible
some onion - negligible
.5 oz goat cheese - 35 calories - $0.25
seasoning - negligible - about $0.10
7 paper towels - about $0.10
Total: about 800 calories, about $5.70 not including utilities or equipment.