This one may offer a bit more of a distinctive value since it harbors caramelized onions. What a way to start off the new year!
2 tablespoons good butter
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 pound freshly ground chuck
2 teaspoons salt, good burgers contain a good amount of salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 thick slices white American Cheese
8 slices any white sandwich bread
More butter to fry
Heat the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Add the onions, stir briefly to coat with oil and cook without stirring for 10-12 minutes.
Flip so that the onions on the bottom of the pot are now on top, and cook for another 10-12 minutes. Flip one more time, lower heat and allow onions to caramelized until completely brown — about 15 minutes — gently stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside. These can be reheated before you put the burgers together.
Divide into four portions and form patties, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Make these right before you grill them, so they stay at room temperature.
Preheat your grill, grill pan or cast-iron skillet to high heat and add burger patties.
Cook until the crust that forms on the bottom of the burger releases it from the pan or grate — about 2 minutes. Gently test, but don't flip it until it gets to this point. When burgers lift up easily, flip and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes for medium to medium rare, then transfer to a plate and allow to rest.
Assemble the patty melts: add a patty, a slice of American cheese and top with caramelized onions.
Preheat a cast-iron skillet and melt half a tablespoon of butter for each sandwich. Drop a sandwich in, press down with a spatula and grill until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and grill on the other side.