This could hands down be the best cheeseburger you might ever have. Hands down. See the patty melt, at least in my opinion, is not your standard cheeseburger. It’s an old school cheeseburger. It’s the cheeseburger that goes back to the roots of the burger when it was served on sliced bread, and not a bun. But there is more to just the bread when it comes to a patty melt, trust me.
It was only about a week ago when I decided to break down an entire bag of onions, only to make caramelized onions. I know, it might sound crazy, but I do this quiet a bit. One thing I really enjoy on any given meal is caramelized onions. After all, they go well with most anything. So after they caramelized, I sat there thinking what I was going to make in the days ahead. That’s when I thought, patty melt.
I’ve said this many times before that when I poll the kids for what they would like to eat during the week, the first response I get from my oldest is “Bacon Burger”. Then there is always some quiet in the room. I think because the other two are pretty much up for anything I make for dinner. So I knew the boys would take on burgers this week, and I figured my wife might want to take on the patty melt. Her response was “I will try a bite”. A bite? I don’t think she even knew what a patty melt was, and maybe many people do not know what one is. I think I first encountered patty melts when living in Dallas and hanging out at the old diners late at night. The patty melt, to me, is one of those diner staples, and any good diner should have one on their menu. Heck, any good burger joint should have one on their menu!
Let’s get started.
Ingredients: [Print this Recipe]
- 2 slices of marble rye bread, about 1/2 thick
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 ground chuck, room temperature
- Bacon drippings (optional)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup of caramelized onions
- 4 slices of cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup of mayonnaise (optional)
- 2 tbsp Sriracha (optional)
- Pickle (optional)
- Waffle Fries, cooked (optional)
So you remember my kid wanted a bacon burger, right? Well, the good dad that I am, I decided he could have his way, and therefore I cooked several slices of Nueske’s bacon low and slow until it was cooked. I then reserved the bacon drippings, and then cooked their burgers. When it was time to make the patty melt, I cleaned the cast iron skillet, and returned it back to the burner on medium heat.
Once the skillet was heated, I added in a few tablespoons of the bacon drippings and brought that to temperature. In the meantime, I gently formed the ground chuck into the shape of a football, and generously seasoned with salt and cracked black pepper. Mix the mayonnaise and Sriracha and set aside. You do not have to go that route, but it is nice to have around for a little dip of the burger, or if you are serving it with french fries.
Once the pan was completely heated through, I added the ground chuck, searing and caramelizing it on one side. I then took my burger spatula and smashed it down, flattening it to the size of the rye bread. I let this cook for about 4 minutes total on one side, then flipped it over. Once flipped, add the caramelize onions to the top of the patty, covering the entire thing. Cook the patty another minute or so, before removing it from the heat.
Next step is to get a nonstick skillet onto the burner, on medium to low heat. Butter one side of each rye bread. Place one slice, butter side down onto the skillet. Add 2 slices of the cheddar cheese, then place the patty on top of the cheese, onion side up. Add 2 more slices of cheddar cheese to the top of the onions, then place the other slice of bread, butter side up, on top.
Cook this, lifting gently to make sure you do not burn the bread, every 30 seconds or so. Your goal is to not only toast the rye bread, but also get the cheddar cheese nice and melted. Once you have a nice golden toast on the first side of the rye bread, carefully flip it over and repeat on the second side.
That’s it. This patty melt is done. Overall, this burger takes about 8 minutes to completely cook, which is no time at all. When you are ready to plate, slice the patty melt on the diagonal, and serve with a pickle and waffle fries.
Let me tell you, this patty melt is something else. Thankfully my wife was out running errands, and my kids were outside playing. I only say this because I devoured it, well, not all of it. Remember, my wife wanted a bite? I gave her a nice portion of the patty melt, and she was thankful that I did. It was confirmed, not only by me, but more importantly, my wife, that this could be the best cheeseburger ever made. I stand by that.
The burger that was seared in the cast iron skillet had that great caramelized texture on the patty, and then the caramelized onions hit you with the buttery and crisp rye bread and cheese! Gosh, I think I am seriously getting excited just talking about it.
It’s a must make people. No lie. Hands down probably the best burger I’ve made to date. Hope you enjoy.