To make the crispy onions, add the sliced onions to a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over top. Use your hand to submerge the onions in the buttermilk. Allow the onions to sit in the buttermilk 10-30 mins. Meanwhile add the flour, salt and a pinch of both cayenne and pepper to a bowl and give it a good toss. When ready to fry the onions heat a large pot of oil until it reaches 375 degrees F. or until a pinch of flour sizzles when sprinkled over the pot. Remove a handful of onions from the buttermilk and place them into the flour mixture. Coat the onions in the flour mixture, and then tap them on the inside of the bowl to shake off the excess. Carefully drop the onions into the hot oil. With a spoon, fiddle with them a bit just to break them up. Watch the onions closely as they cook quick! After about 1 or 2 minutes, they should be golden brown, remove from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining onion slices. Onions are best served right away, but can be reheated in a 300 degree oven for 5 minutes, watching them closely and making sure they do not burn.
To make the whiskey glaze, add the whiskey, ketchup, soy sauce, honey, mustard, Worcestershire, cayenne and pepper to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Keep warm over low heat until read to serve (or store in the fridge and warm before serving).
To make the burgers, divide the meat into 4 sections. Place a cube of blue cheese in the center of each and then inclose the cheese in the meat forming 4 patties. Place the patties on a plate. Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium high heat, once hot, season the burgers with salt and pepper and then grill until your desired doneness. About 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove the burgers from the grill and and cover with foil to allow the burgers to rest while you prepare the cheese sauce.
To make the cheese sauce, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter, and once it’s melted and bubbly add the flour. Whisk together to create a roux and cook for 1-2 minutes until mixture gets a bit golden in color. Add the beer and 1/2 cup milk, stir and turn down heat to low. Continue stirring until milk thickens. Add in the cheddar cheese and continue to stir until mixture is smooth. If the sauce seems too thick, thin with more milk. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, place each burger on a toasted bun. Top with a good amount of whiskey glaze and cheese sauce. Add those crispy onions and then the top bun...give it a good squash and DEVOUR!
*Inspired by the Claddagh Pub, once located in Westlake, Ohio.