The Happiest Plates On Earth: Deluxe Bacon Cheeseburger And Caramel Apple Milkshake- Inspired By ‘Home On The Range’


Disney has, in my humble opinion, made some of the greatest films of all time; movies that formed my childhood, and movies that have informed my choices in adulthood.

This is not one of those films.


For those fortunate enough to have not seen this particular entry in the animated canon, here’s the basic plot: Roseanne Barr, Jennifer Tilly, and Judi Dench (why, Judi?!) are cows who team up to take down Randy Quaid, a rogue cattle rustler.  I remember it being very long, and very uncertain of who the movie was intended for.  Look, this isn’t a critique post. I leave those to that other guy and work on making delicious food with a Disney twist, so let’s focus in on what’s most important right now.




Ain’t she beautiful?

I have wanted a meat grinder for as long as I can remember. Something about seeing that sleek metal attachment hanging on the wall at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for years made me so wistful. Then, on my birthday, I got one from my parents! It was glorious. It is glorious.



So….meat grinder….movie about cows?




Seems meant to be.

I’m going to be honest: there’s not too much theming going on here.  There’s beef and pork and chicken.  There’s produce and dairy.  It’s all stuff that can be…found on a farm?

I chose a combination of beef chuck and pork country ribs to make my hamburger mixture. There’s been quite an ongoing discussion in our household over the years about what makes a great burger. It needs something sweet, something spicy, something pickled. It needs crunch and softness.  After a trip to the local Farmer’s Market, we came home with kosher dill pickles, fresh white cheddar cheese curds, and some wheat grass, which I had never before tasted (spoiler: it tastes like grass).



To those ingredients, I added  spicy mustard sauce, which I made here  , as well as some thick-cut bacon, a little smoked gouda, a fresh tomato slice, some red leaf lettuce, caramelized onions, and a sunny-side up egg.  I put it all on a soft bakery roll.

After deciding on my burger construction. I realized I needed something to have on the side.  What better accompaniment to a burger than a homemade plate of fries?  I’ve made fries before, but I’ve always been rather unimpressed with them.  After doing a small amount of research, I discovered that what a lot of recipes have in common, is they are battered!  I battered them in a simple flour and water mixture, seasoned them up and then fried them two times to make sure they were crispy and cooked through.  They were awesome.

To complete this summery meal, I made a Caramel Apple Milkshake.

No calories in here at all!


I used the vanilla ice cream recipe I posted here  and then made into a simple milkshake in the blender.  To that, I added warm baked apples and my Great Grandma Lucy’s Famous Caramel.  This caramel is amazing, and quite the popular treat in my family.  I highly recommend it!

Overall, this was a pretty good meal made from a pretty bad movie. Now, let’s giddalong to the recipe!

Deluxe Bacon Cheeseburger And Caramel Apple Milkshake
Prep Time: 2 Hours
Cook Time: 1 Hour



To Make Burgers:

3 lbs ground meat
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons dried shitake mushroom powder

Combine all the ingredients in large mixing bowl. Portion the meat out into 6 oz patties, making the sides flat and creating a concave top to the patty. Allow to chill for at least an hour. Season the burger patties with salt and pepper (or my favorite, Montreal Steak Seasoning!). Cook to your preferred doneness on a grill.  Melt desired cheese on top of burger.


To Assemble Burger:


6 grilled cheeseburgers
6 soft bakery rolls, split and toasted with butter
12 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked
6 eggs, fried sunny side up
Mustard Sauce
Red Leaf Lettuce
Fresh Tomato
Caramelized Onions (recipe follows)
Dill Pickles
Cut Wheatgrass
Open up buns.  Spread bottom with mustard sauce.  Place small amount of washed red leaf lettuce and then cut wheatgrass on bottom bun.  Top with slice of fresh tomato and then sliced dill pickle chips.  Place hot cooked cheeseburger on top of pickles, then bacon pieces, followed by onions, and finally the fried egg.  Spread the top of the bun with mayo and then place on the top of the burger


To Make Caramelized Onions:

3 large vidalia onions, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons salted butter

Place all the ingredients in a saute pan on low and cook together, stirring frequently until the onions are browned and cooked down.  Serve the onions warm.

Fries soaking in hot water


To Make Homemade Battered French Fries:
5 large russet potatoes, washed and peeled
2 cups flour
6 cups boiling salted water
1 cup cold water
4 tablespoons chili powder
4 tablespoons garlic powder
Cut the potatoes into fries and place them in a large bowl.  Cover the cut potatoes with the boiling water and allow them to sit for at least 30 minutes.  This will soften them slightly as well as allow some of the starchiness to start to soak out.  Drain the potatoes well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.  If the batter looks to thin, add more water.  It should be just thick enough to coat the fries, but still a pourable consistency.  Coat the fries in the batter and then fry for five minutes, shaking your fryer basket every minute to keep them from sticking together.  Drain the fries on a paper towel and salt immediately.



To Make Baked Apples:

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced or diced
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Juice from 2 lemons
1/4 c water

In bowl, whisk together water, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Add the apples and coat with cinnamon sugar mixture. Place in small baking dish and cook in a 300 degree oven until it is thickened and bubbly. Serve warm or chilled.



To Make Caramel:

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place the butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat on stove top. Add the sugar, sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup and clip a candy thermometer to the side of a saucepan. Cook it until it reaches 230 degrees*. Stir in the vanilla and remove the caramel from the heat. Serve warm.

*For the regular caramel recipe, cook the candy to 245. It will have a great soft, yet chewy texture.

To Build The Milkshake:
Vanilla Ice Cream
Whole Milk
Whipped Cream
Warm Caramel
Baked Apples
Maraschino Cherry


Place the vanilla ice cream and whole milk in a blender and blend until soft and pourable.  Drizzle glass with warm caramel and then add the milkshake into the glass.  Top the milkshake with whipped cream, then add the baked apples and drizzle with more caramel.  Top with a cherry if desired.  This dessert is very rich and delicious and very, very messy.



Overall, this meal was pretty good.  I don’t think I would blend chuck with pork ribs again, because the meat ate a little dry.  The grass added a nice freshness actually, and is one of the few things on theme with this dish.  The milkshake was amazeballs though.  The tartness of the baked apples blended with that thick and salty caramel was awesome.  This is a great summertime meal, whether or not you want to associate it with an film even Disney forgot they made.

Hope you enjoy it!

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