dry sherry for deglazing the pan (you can use water instead.)
1lb80/20 ground beef (you can use up to 1.25 lb)
1tspdeydrated minced onion (optional but delicious)
4Tbspbutter, at room temperature
8slices of sourdough, rye, or white bread
8thin slices cheese Swiss cheese (use extra to taste or to fit your bread)
First start the onions. Add the onions, olive oil, salt and sugar to a heavy pot or skillet and cook on medium heat, stirring often. They will first lose their moisture, and then slowly start to turn a golden. If they start to brown right away, you've got your heat too high. Use a splash of dry sherry to deglaze the pan and scrape up any browning that has accumulated on the pan. Set aside.
While the onions are cooking, mix the ground beef with the salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders, and dried onion, if using. Mix with your fingers until everything is well combined, but don't wover work the meat or it can get tough.
Divide the meat mixture into four equal parts.
Roll the meat into a rough ball shape, then flatten into thin smashed burgers a little bigger than the size of your bread slices. Don't worry about being perfect here, just approximate. Note: you want the patties to be a little larger than your bread because they will shrink as they cook.
Mash together the softened butter and mayo until smooth (it's ok if it's a little lumpy.)
Spread the mixture on one side of each piece of bread.
Heat a skillet on medium high and add a pat of butter. Fry the burgers, working in batches if necessary, until they're browned and just done through. These will not take long to cook. Note: I like to flatten the patties as they cook with my spatula to make sure they don't puff up.
Place 1 slice of cheese on the unbuttered side of four slices of bread.
Place the cooked burger on top of the cheese.
Add a layer of caramelized onions to the burger and spread them out across the whole sandwich.
Top that with another slice of cheese.
Add your top slices of bread, butter side up.
Heat a dry skillet over medium heat until hot but not super hot. Grill the patty melts until golden on the outside and melty inside, flipping once. The aim is to give the cheese enough time to melt while the bread is toasting. Note: I will sometimes cover the skillet after flipping to contain the heat.
Slice in half and serve asap.
to cut calories in patty melts
use lean ground beef
use thin sliced bread
spread the outside of the bread with a thin layer of mayo instead of the thick layer of mayo and butter