August 30, 2018

Patty Melt

Recipe: Anthony Rose & Chris Johns

Try this Patty Melt recipe from the cookbook The Last Schmaltz.

Not quite a hamburger and not quite a grilled cheese, this is a grilled cheese sandwich with a hamburger patty inside. It’s the best non-hamburger in Toronto, as voted unanimously by me. The grilled cheese is fried in butter and the burger is fried in butter and the onions are fried in butter. I can eat only one per year, but the fat kid in me eats it every day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


  • 12 pieces thick-sliced caraway rye bread (about 1 loaf)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 12 (1 oz) slices orange or aged white cheddar
  • 2 1/4 lb freshly ground beef*
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Your favorite condiments, for serving (I like a spicy brown mustard and very little else)

Caramelized Onions

  • 2 large white onions, about 1 lb each
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme

*I recommend getting your beef from a reliable butcher who grinds meat daily, since these patty melts are best served medium-rare.


Yield: Serves 6

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.
  2. For the caramelized onions, slice the onions thinly and preheat a large pan over medium heat. Add the canola oil and butter to the pan. Once it starts to shimmer, you’re ready to fry the onions. Don’t worry about crowding the pan; it will work to your advantage. Let the onions start to brown on the bottom, about 3 to 4 minutes, then add the salt and thyme. Mix the onions to let the flavors combine. Leave the onions for another few minutes, then stir. Continue this process until the onions are evenly browned, then remove from the heat. Try not to stir the onions too much; rather, let them sit to really sear between your stirs.
  3. Assemble the grilled cheese sandwiches. Butter all 12 slices of the rye bread, then turn half of them butter side down. On the bread side, place two slices of cheddar and a generous heap of the caramelized onions. Close the sandwiches so the butter is on the outsides, and fry in a large pan over medium heat until the sandwiches are golden and the cheese has melted on the inside, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the sandwiches to a baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven.
  4. Divide your ground beef into six evenly sized balls, then flatten them slightly to form patties. Use your thumb to make a small dimple in the center of each patty. Season the patties with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat two large frying pans on high heat, and wait for them to come to temperature. They should be very hot. Fry the patties for 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  6. Once the burgers are cooked, remove your sandwiches from the oven and open them up—careful, they’ll be hot inside! Put a burger patty inside each one, close it up, and cut it in half. Serve with your favorite condiments.

Excerpted from The Last Schmaltz: A Very Serious Cookbook by Anthony Rose and Chris Johns. Copyright © 2018 Anthony Rose and Chris Johns. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved