Cooking with Rye Beer: Roast Jalapeño Buffalo Patty Melt

Roast Jalapeño Buffalo Patty Melt

Serves: 2

  • 2 Tbs (30 ml) canola/vegetable oil
  • 2 cup (473 ml) yellow onion, julienned
  • 2 fl oz (59 ml) rye beer
  • 1 jalapeño, roasted, peeled, and deseeded
  • Two 6 oz (170 g) buffalo patties, ½” (13 mm) thick
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 slices marble rye
  • 4 Tbs softened butter
  • 1 oz (28 g) imported Gruyère, sliced thin
  • 1 cup (237 ml) Thousand Island dressing

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, gently add the onions to the pan to avoid splashing. Leave the onions untouched in the pan for 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat this process, stirring the onions every 30 seconds until they begin to turn golden brown, about 6 minutes.

Once the onions are sufficiently cooked, deglaze the pan with the rye beer and cook until the pan is dry. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Remove the top of the jalapeño and discard. Julienne the pepper to the same size as the onions. Fold the julienned jalapeño into the onion mixture. Set aside.

In a separate pan, cook the buffalo patties to your desired degree of doneness, seasoning well with the salt.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Butter four slices of bread on one side and place two slices in the skillet, butter side down. Place ½ oz (14 g) of sliced Gruyère on each slice of bread and heat until the cheese begins to melt. Remove the bread slices from the skillet to a plate or cutting board.

Place the other two slices of bread in the skillet, butter side down. Place a buffalo patty in the center of each bread slice and top with the onions and jalapeño. Place the slices of already toasted bread on top of the onions, cheese side down. Cook until heated through, 2–3 minutes. This can also be done in a panini press.

Remove the sandwiches from the pan and slice in half. Serve with Thousand Island dressing for dipping.

Beer Tasting Notes: Rye malt evokes rye bread, but once brewed and fermented, it tends to add a mildly earthy or spicy flavor combined with textural heft on the palate. That flavor and mouthfeel find firm friends in spicy-floral hopping—or rye can tease out some more classical, herbal notes to help ground brighter, fruitier hops in a rye pale ale or IPA. In this dish, a pale ale that leans herbal and spicy is bound to taste great with a patty melt—and if you’re going to deglaze a pan for added flavor on the meat, why use water?

Beer Suggestions: Terrapin Rye Pale Ale (Athens, Georgia); Westbrook One Claw (Mount Pleasant, South Carolina); Odd13 Samurye Warrior (Lafayette, Colorado); 4 Hands Divided Sky Rye IPA (St. Louis)

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