I do not have the most expansive history with patty melts. As a matter of fact, the only time I ever really ate them was between two to four in the morning at a Waffle House. So glamorous, I know.
This recipe came about while I was staying at my mom’s. She had some ground beef hanging around, but no burger buns. I figured I’d have to make some kind of patty melt. And then I saw red wine and swiss cheese and all I could think was French onion soup. It seriously felt like the clouds parted and fate was on my side.
And how amazing these burgers are, they taste so decadent from the swiss cheese and wine soaked caramelized onions. I couldn’t get enough.
For this recipe you can totally caramelize your onions ahead of time to make things easier when you’re ready to eat.
- 4 onions sliced
- 1 stick of butter, plus more for the grilled cheese effect
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 lb ground beef
- 8 slices swiss cheese
- 8 slices bread of choice
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pinch sugar
- 1 tbsp oil
Heat a large sautee pan over low heat. Add the stick of butter and melt in the pan. Add the onions and toss to coat in the butter. Add a pinch each of salt and sugar.
Let the onions cook for 45 minutes to one hour over the low heat, stirring occasionally. If brown spots form in the pan add a drop of water to the spot and scrape up. When the onions are done they will look like they have given up on life and offer zero resistence when poked with a fork.
Turn the heat up to medium high. Add the thyme, wine, and broth. Stir to coat and cook until the liquid is almost completely evaporated, three to five minutes. Season to taste and set aside. The onions can be refrigerated for up to a week and a half.
Form the beef into four patties. Try and make them as thin as possible because they fatten up while cooking. Make sure not to overwork your meat. Coat the outside of the parties in salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add your patties and depending on their thickness cook three to five minutes per side. Only flip them once and do NOT squish them down with your spatula. Now to assemble the sandwich.
For the assembly from the bottom up follow this pattern: bread, one slice of cheese, patty, one slice of cheese, a fat scoop of onions, and bread. When you have your sandwiches prepped add two tablespoons of butter to a pan over medium-low heat. You might have to work in batches here, if so just fit what you can in your pan. Add your sandwich(es) to the pan and toast the bread, about two to four minutes. Add another two tablespoons of butter and toast the other side of the sandwich the same way. If you’re working in batches add more butter to the pan as needed.