Indulge in the timeless delight of a classic Patty Melt, where juicy beef, gooey cheese, and caramelized onions unite between buttery slices of toasted bread. This iconic American diner favorite brings together flavors of nostalgia and culinary satisfaction, making it a must-have for any comfort food enthusiast.
The origins of the Patty Melt can be traced back to mid-20th century America, emerging as a beloved staple in diners and cafes across the nation. Its inception is often attributed to the creative ingenuity of cooks and chefs seeking to elevate the traditional hamburger experience. By incorporating elements of the classic grilled cheese sandwich with a juicy beef patty, the Patty Melt quickly gained popularity for its irresistible combination of flavors and textures.
For the Caramelized Onions:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium Vidalia or Walla Walla onions, thinly sliced
- 3 pinches of salt
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) salted butter
For the Patty Melt:
- Peanut oil or mild vegetable oil, for cooking
- 1 1/2 pounds freshly ground beef (preferably 80% lean)
- Salt, to taste
- Salted or unsalted butter, for spreading
- 8 to 10 slices of crusty bakery bread or seeded rye
- 8 to 10 slices of American cheese or preferred melty cheese
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add thinly sliced onions to the skillet and cook until softened, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
- Sprinkle salt over the onions, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the white wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated, enhancing the onions’ flavor.
- Reduce the heat, add salted butter, and continue cooking until the onions develop a golden brown color and a rich, caramelized texture, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer the caramelized onions to a plate and set aside.
Patty Melt Assembly:
- Wipe out the skillet used for caramelizing onions and add a thin layer of peanut oil or vegetable oil, heating it over medium heat.
- Divide the freshly ground beef into equal portions and shape them into patties of your desired thickness.
- Season the beef patties generously with salt on both sides.
- Place the patties in the skillet and cook until they develop a golden-brown crust, approximately 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare doneness.
- Once cooked to perfection, transfer the beef patties to a wire rack to drain excess oil.
Patty Melt Assembly:
- Spread a thin layer of salted or unsalted butter on one side of each slice of bakery bread or seeded rye.
- In the same skillet, place a slice of bread buttered side down.
- Layer a slice of American cheese (or your preferred melty cheese) onto the bread.
- Top the cheese with a cooked beef patty, followed by a generous portion of caramelized onions.
- Add another slice of cheese on top of the onions for extra gooeyness.
- Finish the assembly by placing another slice of bread on top, buttered side facing up.
Patty Melt Cooking:
- Cover the skillet and cook the Patty Melt for approximately 2 1/2 minutes, allowing the cheese to melt and the bread to toast to a golden brown.
- Carefully flip the Patty Melt using a spatula and cook for an additional 1 minute, ensuring both sides are evenly toasted and the cheese is perfectly melted.
- Remove the Patty Melt from the skillet and repeat the assembly and cooking process with the remaining ingredients.
- Serve the hot and delicious Patty Melts immediately, paired with your favorite side dishes or condiments.
Indulge in the nostalgic flavors of this Ultimate Classic Patty Melt, where every bite is a journey back in time to the comforting embrace of a timeless American favorite.