If your New Year’s resolution was to lose weight, look away. I resolve to lose weight every morning of my life. Sometimes I do. Most times I don’t. I’ve learned to embrace my failures and am happy, healthy, and hopeful for another chance tomorrow.
Back in the day, my go-to hangover cure was a cheesy, greasy Patty Melt from the International House of Pancakes. After a night of barhopping, boy chasing, and general foolishness my roommate/partner in crime and I would drag ourselves into the local IHOP and order our usual: a Patty Melt, fries, a short stack with extra butter, and a gigantic Coke. And we were skinny then! Good times. Now, a Patty Melt is a special indulgence for me. This recipe, from an old copy of Bon Appetit magazine, is the best I’ve found. (No hangover required.)
Servings: Makes 4
For the caramelized onions
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
For patties and assembly:
¼ small onion, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef chuck (20% fat)
1 tablespoon ketchup
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 slices seeded rye bread (preferably Levy’s)
4 ounces aged sharp cheddar, thinly sliced
4 ounces Swiss cheese (such as Emmenthal), thinly sliced
8 teaspoons mayonnaise
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook onions, stirring often and adding water as needed to prevent burning, until deep golden brown and very soft, 20-25 minutes. Set aside.
Patties and Assembly:
Gently mix onion, beef, ketchup, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, in a medium bowl. Divide into 4 portions and press each between 2 pieces of parchment or waxed paper until about ¼” thick (you want them roughly the same dimensions as the bread you’re using.)
Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook patties, pressing gently, until browned but still pink in the center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Wipe out skillet and reduce heat to medium. Top 4 slices of bread with cheddar, then beef patties, caramelized onions, and Swiss cheese. Close up sandwiches and spread each top with 1 tsp. mayonnaise. Place in pan, mayonnaise side down, and weight with a foil-covered heavy pan. Cook until bottom slice is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove weighted pan and spread the top of each sandwich with 1 tsp. mayonnaise. Flip and weight again. Cook until other side is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.