Guy Fieri's Bacon Mac and Cheese Burger

Donkey Sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons roasted garlic puree, store-bought or homemade
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
SMC (super melty cheese):
1/2 cup water
2½ cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon hot sauce, preferably Tabasco
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Velveeta cheese
1/2 cup shredded provolone cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese
Garlic Butter:
1 pound unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup roasted garlic puree, store-bought or homemade
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Crispy Onions:
3 cups buttermilk
1 large white onion, sliced thin, 1/4-inch rings
3¾ cups high-gluten flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
canola or vegetable oil, for frying
4 (7-ounce) burger balls, 80/20 ground beef
kosher salt
4 brioche burger buns
1/2 cup Garlic Butter
1/4 cup Donkey Sauce
1/2 cup kosher pickle, sliced paper thin
12 thinly shaved slices white onion
1½ cups elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
3/4 cup SMC (recipe above)
4 slices cheddar cheese, sliced sandwich cut
8 strips bacon, cooked until crispy
8 thin slices tomato
3 cups shredded lettuce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/3 cup Crispy Onions

For the Donkey Sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

For the SMC (Super Melty Cheese):
In a 2-quart saucepan, bring water and half-and-half to a simmer over medium heat.
Maintain medium heat and add the hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
Using a whisk, mix in the Velveeta, 2 ounces at a time, until it has fully incorporated.
Using the same method of adding the cheese slowly, add in all other cheeses.
Continually mix until all cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.

For the garlic butter:
Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer or food processor and mix until smooth and fully incorporated.

For the crispy onions:
Combine the buttermilk and sliced onions. Ensure the onions are submerged in the buttermilk. Allow to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Combine the remaining ingredients, except for the oil, in a mixing bowl and whisk to fully incorporate.
Preheat oil in a large Dutch oven or countertop fryer to 350 F. Fill halfway so it doesn’t overflow when frying.
Drain the buttermilk from the onions and allow the excess to drip off.
Dredge the onions in the seasoned flour to coat evenly. Shake off the excess and place in the fryer. Work in batches so you don’t overload the fryer and the onions can cook evenly.
Fry until golden-brown. Use tongs or a wire skimmer to move the onions around so they cook evenly. Be careful not to splash the oil.
Remove from the oil and allow the excess oil to drip off. Place the crispy onions on a sheet pan with a cooling rack. Season with salt and pepper.

For the burgers:
Season the burger all the way around with kosher salt and place on a griddle for 45 seconds.
Using 2 large spatulas, cross the spatulas by placing one diagonal across the other and smash the burger ball to 1/3-inch thickness and cook until the juices begin to come out of the top of the burger. Lean into it!
Flip to a new spot on the griddle.
Brush the inside of the bun with garlic butter. Toast the bun with Garlic Butter until golden.
Flip the bun and toast the outside of the bun lightly, giving it a “kiss” on top.
Spread the Donkey Sauce from coast to coast on the top and bottom bun.
Evenly spread 5 slices of pickles first and then 3 slices of onions on the bottom bun.
Mix the hot, cooked macaroni with the SMC in a medium mixing bowl.
Top the burger with mac and cheese and a slice of cheddar. Cover the burger with a dome and squirt with 1 ounce of water. Allow the burger to steam under the dome until the cheese is completely melted, about a minute.
Remove the burger from the dome and place on the bun. Top with bacon, tomato, lettuce, vinegar and crispy onions. Finish with top bun and secure with a long skewer.