You're in for a treat with this incredible 2023 March Macness winner! Chef Casey has really outdone herself by combining the flavors of classic burgers and mac and cheese. Trust us, it's a culinary delight that you won't want to miss!
2 Hawaiian sweet buns
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a small baking sheet with foil, and cut the sweet buns in half. Lay them cut side up on the baking sheet, and toast for about 10 minutes, until completely dry. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, pulse in a food processor to make breadcrumbs. Place in a bowl and set aside.
Divide beef into 8 2-oz balls. Heat a stainless steel or cast iron skillet so that it’s screaming hot (dripped water on to it should immediately boil off), and let it preheat for a couple of minutes. Working with two patties at a time, place a 2-oz ball in the pan, and smash it flat with a metal spatula. Repeat with the second ball. Cook about 45 seconds - 1 minute, until the meat is well caramelized on the bottom and starting to cook through to the top. Scrape well off the pan and flip, cooking just 30 seconds more, then transfer to a plate. Continue with the rest of the patties, adjusting the heat of the pan if they are burning.
Add the milk and the beef bouillon to a large saute pan, and whisk to combine. Place the uncut half of the onion in, then sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Put the saute pan over the lowest possible heat to infuse flavors, at least 10 minutes, without letting the milk steam or scald. Stir occasionally.
Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Preheat a high broiler.
Remove the half onion from the infused milk and discard. Raise the heat to medium, and add in the butter to melt. Whisk in the flour, and continue to whisk until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the sliced pickles, diced onions, the 1000 islands dressing, the pasta, and crumble in the burgers.
Fold in the cheese slices and all but 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, and turn off the heat. Combine the remaining cheese with the sweet bun breadcrumbs, and sprinkle over the top. Place the mac and cheese under the broiler for just a minute or two, until the top is bubbling and golden.
Serve as a main or side dish.
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