Indulge in the nostalgic delight of this Classic Patty Melt, a delectable combination of perfectly grilled beef patties, richly caramelized onions, homemade Thousand Island dressing, and copious amounts of melted Swiss cheese. Its taste surpasses that of the quintessential diners and dives reminiscent of your childhood.
Growing up, the patty melt was a staple at the local diners my parents frequented. The aroma of onions and beef sizzling on the grill is etched in my memory. This recipe promises to revive a myriad of cherished memories and joyous moments. You’re sure to savor every bite of this mouthwatering sandwich. Opt to include onions or not, though the authentic classic version is always served with grilled onions. Enhance your retro diner experience by pairing it with Beer Battered Onion Rings or Easy Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
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This quintessential Patty Melt Recipe embodies a timeless American sandwich favorite. Imagine savoring a succulent, meat-rich beef burger, enhanced with sweet, caramelized onions and oozing with melted cheese, all nestled between slices of delectable rye bread that’s been toasted to perfection.
It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t relish a mouth-watering, tender beef burger nestled in a pillowy soft bun. The patty melt elevates this experience, offering everything you love about a classic burger but with a twist. Instead of a soft bun, this sandwich boasts rye bread lavishly spread with mayonnaise, toasted to achieve a golden, crisp exterior.
Sinking your teeth into the crunchy exterior of the bread, savoring the sweetness of the onions, and finally reaching the velvety, melted cheese that envelops the burger—it’s a sublime experience, bite after bite. I must pause; my mouth is already watering!
Regarding the quintessential patty melt recipe, four elements are absolutely essential: rye bread, a beef burger patty seasoned just right, luscious melted Swiss cheese, and golden caramelized onions. While you’re free to add your own touch with additional ingredients, for me, the timeless classic always takes precedence.
To complement the rye bread’s shape, it’s essential to tailor the beef patties to match. Opt for an oval shape instead of the usual round one, ensuring the patty aligns with the bread’s longer form. This approach guarantees that each slice of bread is uniformly covered by the patty. As demonstrated in the video, this technique perfectly fills the bread from one end to the other, offering a juicy burger bite in every mouthful of this exceptional sandwich.
The preparation of this patty melt is straightforward and quick, though the onions require a bit more attention. They’re cooked gently and slowly for at least 30 minutes. The result is a batch of onions that are incredibly sweet, tender, and arguably the best way to enjoy cooked onions.
Lastly, I’d like to recount my first experience with a patty melt in California after relocating from England. It happened at the legendary Mel’s Diner on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles (a serendipitous choice), and it left me wondering if I’d ever go back to eating a regular burger again.
To prepare a classic patty melt, start by thinly slicing some sweet onions. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-low heat and melt a few tablespoons of butter in it. Add the onions and cook them, stirring occasionally, allowing them to brown slightly. When they reach a golden brown, caramelized state, remove them from the skillet and set aside, covered to retain warmth.
For the patties, mix a dash of Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper into the ground beef. Form this mixture into four evenly sized patties. Move the onions aside in the skillet and cook the patties over medium-high heat. Cook until they are well-browned on both sides and fully cooked.
To assemble the sandwiches, spread a small amount of thousand island dressing on each slice of bread. Place a slice of Swiss cheese on each piece, then add the cooked patties. Top the patties with a generous amount of the caramelized onions. Close the sandwiches with another slice of bread.
Butter the top of each sandwich and place them, buttered side down, in a preheated skillet over medium-low heat. Butter the tops of the sandwiches and cover the skillet with aluminum foil. Keep a close watch and flip the sandwiches once the bottom is browned to brown the other side. Once both sides are golden and crispy, your classic patty melts are ready to serve.
SUGGESTIONS AND TIPS FOR THE RECIPE
– Opt for high-quality sourdough, rye, or Texas toast bread from a bakery.
– A seasoned cast-iron skillet is excellent for cooking these melts.
– Stir the onions occasionally, but not too often. Stirring every few minutes allows them to soften and brown around the edges. Caramelizing onions may take around 30-40 minutes.
– Short on time? Use a pre-made bottled thousand island dressing of your choice.
– Not a fan of Swiss Cheese? Cheddar or American cheese are great alternatives.
– Heat the pan before adding the hamburger patty to lock in the juices.
– Serve the melts directly from the pan or grill, ensuring the cheese is still melted, and the bread is warm, buttery, and crispy.
The main distinction between a cheeseburger and a patty melt lies in their composition and presentation. A cheeseburger consists of a grilled or cooked beef patty topped with cheese, often accompanied by additional toppings such as bacon, pickles, tomatoes, or lettuce, all enclosed within a soft bun that can be either toasted or not. In contrast, a patty melt features a cooked beef patty layered with onions and cheese, typically sandwiched between slices of rye bread. This combination is then grilled on a griddle until the cheese melts and the bread toasts to a golden brown.
Regarding the best bread for patty melts, popular choices include sourdough and rye bread due to their sturdy texture and flavorful profile. However, the options are not limited to these. Other bread varieties that work well for patty melts, owing to their ability to withstand grilling and complement the sandwich’s flavors, include ciabatta, multigrain, whole wheat, pumpernickel, and classic white sandwich bread.
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (recommendation: Dukes)
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon onion, grated
- 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 large onion, halved and sliced
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 8 slices of rye bread or sourdough
- 8 thick slices of Swiss cheese (Baby Swiss preferred)
- Pickles (optional)
- Combine mayonnaise, ketchup, grated onion, pickle relish, and paprika in a small bowl.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions, cooking until golden brown for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove onions and keep them warm. For extra caramelization, cook longer.
- In a bowl, mix together ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Divide and shape into four patties. Cook patties in a preheated skillet over medium heat until well-browned and thoroughly cooked, flipping once midway.
- Spread over 1 tablespoon of the dressing on each bread slice. Add a slice of Swiss cheese on each. Place the cooked onions and a beef patty on four of the bread slices. Top with the remaining bread slices to make four sandwiches.
- Butter the top of each sandwich and place it butter-side-down in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until golden brown, then butter the other side and flip. Continue cooking until the second side is golden and the cheese has melted. Covering the skillet with aluminum foil during this process can be helpful.