I grew up eating an open-faced sandwich long before I even knew what an open-faced sandwich was — the Kentucky Hot Brown. So when I was home these last couple weeks, one of my Southern requests from my momma’s kitchen was a classic Hot Brown sandwich. Southern cooking is rare out in these California parts, and this is comfort food at its finest if you ask me. The Hot Brown consists of bread, turkey, bacon, a mornay (cheese) sauce, and occasionally a tomato. If you feel like being “healthy.”
The Hot Brown originated at the famous Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1920’s to sate the appetites of those roaring 20’s dancers.
The perfect simple Southern late night supper? A Kentucky favorite, the Hot Brown. Here’s the recipe, straight from the kitchen of the Brown Hotel.
The Legendary Hot Brown Recipe
Ingredients (Makes Two Hot Browns):
- 2 oz. Whole Butter
- 2 oz. All Purpose Flour
- 1 Qt. Heavy Cream
- 1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, Plus 1 Tablespoon for Garnish
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- 14 oz. Sliced Roasted Turkey Breast
- 2 Slices of Texas Toast (Crust Trimmed)
- 4 slices of Crispy Bacon
- 2 Roma Tomatoes, Sliced in Half
- Paprika, Parsley
In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk whipping cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with 7 ounces of turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.