I believe the patty melt is one of my all-time favorite dishes. I remember when I first started working, there was this restaurant on Washington Street in Chicago that I would go to once a week. The restaurant was called Cordoza’a Pub. It was actually downstairs. The door was at street level and when you walked in, you immediately walked down the stairs to get to the restaurant. I am sure in earlier days, there were plenty of business lunches where a couple of martinis were served. I just remember how the burger was cooked so perfectly and the rye bread grilled to make this Patty Melt one of my favorites.
Why then, do I rarely eat a Patty Melt and why do you rarely see it offered on a menu? I hope that this recipe and pictures inspire you to try this dish either for the first time, or for the first time in a long time. A traditional patty melt is grilled rye bread and a burger topped with Swiss cheese and grilled onions. I wondered what the origin is of this dish. So I looked it up and found out that it was probably invented in the 1940’s. It was designed to “embellish” the traditional American hamburger. The rye bread actually brought the hamburger to its roots and away from the bun.
The reason this burger concoction is so good, besides all the butter, is that there is flavor in each layer. The bread gets a perfect toasting. The burger is seasoned simply with salt, pepper, just a little seasoned salt and grilled in a cast iron skillet. The onions are sweetened through caramelization. And the cheese is creamy. Put it all together and you might just have the best burger you ever tasted.
- 2 1/2 pounds of ground beef
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 1/2 black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Seasoned Salt
- 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
- 16 slices Emmentaler (Swiss) cheese
- 8 slices smoked gouda
- 3 yellow onions, sliced
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons corn oil
- 16 slices of rye bread
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Heat a skillet on medium high heat and melt the butter and corn oil.
- Cook the onions for 15 - 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add 1/4 cup of water towards the end of cooking to pick up all the bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Season the beef with the salt, pepper and seasoned salt.
- Form into 8 patties.
- Heat 1 tablespoon grape seed oil on medium heat.
- Place the patties in the pan and cook for 4 minutes per side.
- In the final minute of cooking, add 2 slices of the emmentaler and 1 slice of the gouda to the burgers. Cover with a top and cook for 1 - 2 minutes.
- While the burgers are resting, butter one side of the rye bread.
- Add the rye bread, butter side down, to the skillet and cook for 1 - 2 minutes until browned.
- To serve, place the cheeseburger on the bread. Add as many grilled onions as you can fit.
- Top with the 2nd piece of bread.
- Serve and enjoy!
The bread grilled.
The final Patty Melt plated.