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Al Roker's Waffle House Brisket Patty Melt and Hash Browns

Al Roker makes his take on a patty melt
Patty Lee / TODAY


Patty melt
  • 1 loaf marble rye bread, sliced
  • 1 pound sliced American cheese
  • 1 pound sliced Swiss cheese
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 pounds ground brisket
  • Salt and pepper
  • Russian dressing
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup of sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • Hash browns
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound Russet baking potato
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chef notes

    The Waffle House is known for its patty melts, which are served with hash browns on the side. It's late night comfort food at its best.  Brisket is one of my favorite cuts of meat, so I brought the two together with this cheesy brisket patty melt and hash browns dish!


    Preheat nonstick skillet to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil. Add onions, and sauté until brown and tender, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt.

    For Russian dressing, combine mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, vinegar and sriracha in a small bowl. Mix well and put to the side.

    For patties, form each patty from the ground brisket into a rectangle that is the length of the bread. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat up grill pan, and cook patties on both sides until completely cooked, approximately 10 minutes or longer for desired doneness.

    To build sandwiches, butter the outside of both slices of bread. On the inside of the bread, smear some of the dressing. Lay 2 slices of American cheese on inside of one slice of bread, and lay 2 slices of Swiss on other slice of bread. Place the Swiss slice bread down, add the patty, then onions, and top with remaining bread. Push down to meld the fillings.

    Heat a grill pan over medium heat and add the sandwiches to the pan. Once the bottoms of the sandwiches are grilled to your liking, use a spatula to carefully flip the sandwich.  Continue to cook the sandwiches so the other side gets grilled. You can press the sandwich down while it’s heating to compress it.  If the cheese isn’t melting quickly you can cover the pan with a bowl so it will melt faster.

    After melted, remove from pan, slice in half and enjoy. Optional: garnish with dill pickle spear. 

    For hash browns:

    Peel potatoes and shred them using the large holes of a food grater. Make sure to dry them really well using paper towels – dry them in batches to make it more manageable.

    Heat oil in a pan or cast iron skillet on high heat. Add the potatoes spreading them to a single layer, about ½ inch thick. Season with salt and pepper. After about 8-10 minutes, check and see if potatoes are golden brown. When ready, use a large spatula (or two spatulas) and flip the potatoes.  Continue to cook until brown on the bottom. Serve warm.