Patty melts are definitely a comfort food for me. When I was around 8 years old, my mom and I were in a big production at our church. I was a dancing horse and my mom played Mary, the mother of Jesus. Our good friend Toni was also in the play and the three of us had so much fun at weekly rehearsals. Every week after rehearsal, my mom and I would go to a local diner and split a Patty Melt. The best part was spending quality time with my amazing mother, and sharing that whole experience together. Ever since that time, when I eat a Patty Melt, I’m brought right back to those special moments. There is no love like a mother’s love and growing up, some of my favorite times were when mom and I had special times together, away from the hustle and bustle of life at home.
A Patty Melt is simply a grilled burger between two pieces of rye bread, sandwiched between melted cheese and caramelized onions. Rye bread is one of my favorites. Even as a kid, I loved toasted rye bread with butter and jam. The caraway seeds give it a unique flavor and it holds together nicely on a Patty Melt.
I like mine with Russian Rye bread, but you can use Jewish Rye or Pumpernickel bread of that is your preference.
Start with ground beef seasoned to your liking. I always use 90/10 lean ground beef. Ground chuck is typically used on burgers, but I like a leaner cut of beef and between the cheese and caramelized onions, there is plenty of moisture in this sandwich, so I really don’t miss the extra fat.
I always season my ground beef for burgers with Montreal steak seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs and an egg.
Place the burger mixture in a bowl and mix with your hands. This is the only way to mix ground beef and it’s fun to get a little dirty in the kitchen!
Form the meat into oblong shaped patties to fit the shape of the rye bread. A typical burger is round, but for patty melts, the oblong burger gives you a better bite! You want to have that meat in every, glorious bite :).
For the caramelized onions, use yellow onions. They should be thinly sliced and cooked in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Sauté them until the sugars begin to caramelize. They will get sweeter the longer they cook.
Cook the burgers on medium-high heat on a grill pan. They only take about 3 minutes per side for a burger cooked medium with a little pink in the middle.
A grill pan is an essential in the kitchen, especially in the winter when outdoor grilling is not an option. I never use my Foreman grill for burgers, because I want those juices to stay with the meat. Because I use such lean meat, there is no grease on the pan. I like to get a bit of char on the outside. They smell so good! That steak seasoning and Worcestershire sauce makes all the difference.
When the meat is done, assemble the Patty Melts. Start by lightly buttering one side of each slice of the Russian Rye bread. Place the butter side down on the same grill pan. Add one slice of Baby Swiss, followed by the meat, the caramelized onions, another slice of Baby Swiss and finally the other slice of rye bread. Cook for about 1.5-2 minutes before flipping. Cook until the bread is browned and the cheese starts to melt.
If you’ve never made a Patty Melt at home, you’re missing out! You can control the quality of the ingredients and you can get the family involved in the assembly.
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try! If you do, please come on back and leave me a comment and tell me how they turned out and snap a photo and tag #ketchumkitchen on Social Media. I love to see food photos! Thanks for stopping by :). If you’re not already subscribed, subscribe to my email list to receive notifications whenever I post a new recipe. I promise I won’t spam you. The only thing you’ll get from me is delicious recipes.