We don’t bother with buns or bread of any kind when we make these, but if you must, I think the right answer would be grilled rye. I’ve discovered that no one in our house particularly misses bread when we load up burger patties with lots of delicious toppings and serve them alongside a big helping of fruits and vegetables.
Loaded Patty Melts
1 1/2 lbs. high-quality ground meat of your choice (I like beef best here, but you could use dark turkey or bison as well)
6 slices swiss or muenster cheese
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 lb. cremini, button, or mixed wild mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 1 1/2 tsp. dried
2 tablespoons bourbon, brandy, or sherry (completely optional, but we love it in this)
Form the meat into six 4-oz. patties. Season on both sides with salt and pepper, and set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onions in the butter or olive oil until soft and translucent. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown and caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant; add the mushrooms, stir, and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender. If desired, pour in the bourbon or brandy and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring, to evaporate the alcohol completely.
While the onions and mushrooms are cooking, preheat a grill or nonstick (or cast iron) pan. Cook the burger patties for about 3-4 minutes per side, adding the cheese to the top of each patty about 2 minutes before the end of cooking so it has a chance to melt. Remove the burgers to a platter and allow them to rest for 3-5 minutes. Top generously with the mushroom and onion mixture before serving.