Best Patty Melt Recipe How To Make 2021
A patty melt is a sandwich consisting of a ground beef patty with melted cheese and topped with caramelized onions between two slices of griddled bread. It is unclear when the patty melt was invented, but records exist of them having been commercially served as early as the 1940s.
Take the meat from a good burger, the caramelized onions off a slider, the buttery toast from a grilled cheese made with the rye bread from a good deli sandwich, and top it all with the melted Swiss from a Reuben, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a sandwich.
Well, besides vegetarians, people who don’t like rye bread, people who don’t eat onions, or anyone observing a low-fat diet.
Which begs the question: Why can I never begin a cooking post like a normal person?
Okay, I’ll just put it a different way: I love patty melts. In case you don’t know the strict definition, a patty melt is a beautiful, luscious, delicious cross between a grilled cheese and a hamburger.
Cooked, golden brown onions are a signature ingredient and while any bread can be used, rye is the classic choice.
- For the caramelized onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
- For the patty melts
- 1 pound freshly ground chuck, (at least 80% lean, a.k.a. 80/20)
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 8 thick slices deli-counter American cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 thick slices white sandwich bread
- 1/2 cup thousand island dressing, plus more for dipping
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Add the onions, stir briefly to coat with oil, and cook without stirring for 10-12 minutes.
- Flip so that the onions on the bottom of the pot are now on top, and cook for another 10-12 minutes. Flip one more time, lower heat and allow onions to caramelized until completely brown — about 15 minutes — gently stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside. These can be reheated before you put the burgers together.
- In a large bowl, mix ground beef, onion powder, salt, and pepper until just combined. Do not overmix, or your patties will be tough.
- Divide into four portions and form patties using our handy patty-shaping guide, but use a square container instead of a round one so the burger fits the bread. Make these right before you grill them, so they stay at room temperature.
- Preheat your grill, grill pan, or cast-iron skillet to high heat and add burger patties. If using a grill, cover with the lid.
- Cook until the crust that forms on the bottom of the burger releases it from the pan or grate — about 2 minutes. Gently test, but don’t flip it until it gets to this point. When burgers lift up easily, flip and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes for medium to medium-rare, then transfer to a plate and allow to rest.
- Assemble the patty melts: spread both slices of bread for each sandwich with thousand island dressing, then add a patty, two slices of American cheese, and top with caramelized onions.
- Preheat a cast-iron skillet and melt half a tablespoon of butter for each sandwich. Drop a sandwich in, press down with a spatula, and grill until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and grill on the other side.
- Slice down the middle and serve with an extra thousand island dressing on the side for dipping.
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A patty melt is basically a better version of the humble burger. Ground beed gets shaped into more of a oblong rectangle to fit the rye bread, then it gets topped with plenty of Swiss cheese and caramelized onions. It’s the deli sandwich we love, but we really think we’ve perfected the homemade version.
I made it into my late twenties without experiencing the glory of a hamburger sandwich. How he was so successful eating just plain old sandwiches will remain a mystery.
Just kidding, but in truth, we’d all be better off with more pleasure in our lives, and the big old melt burger offers pleasure in spades. It’s like the love child between a burger, grilled cheese, and a bowl of French onion soup.
As far as a sandwich goes, the burger melts on all cylinders, combining grilled rye bread with a perfectly cooked round of flavorful ground beef, gooey cheese, and a tangle of soft, caramelized onions.
You get all kinds of textures in every bite: crusty toast and onion ribbons that melt in your mouth and hot cheese that oozes.
The meat is salty and is mixed with ground pepper and a touch of Worcestershire sauce. Onions are sweet and buttery.
It is the culinary embodiment of “the whole is more than the sum of its parts” – meat pies are simple and straightforward, but the end result is incredible. One bite and you’ll understand why such a basic staple has stood the test of time.
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