How To Make A Kentucky Hot Brown

How To Make A Kentucky Hot Brown

There are some remarkable dishes that were created by culinary geniuses right here in my backyard:  Kentucky.  Some, you may have heard of are:  Kentucky Burgoo, Kentucky Derby Pie,or perhaps the Kentucky Hot Brown.  The Kentucky Hot-Brown definitely qualifies as “Old Fashioned” since it was created in 1926.

Today I’m going to show you how to make the Kentucky Hot Brown.

It’s quite a work of art that requires a little planning (you’ll need to have roasted a turkey recently), but is quite worth the effort.

Recently, as I placed the piping hot pie pans filled with the Kentucky Hot Brown’s before my family, my oldest daughter looked around at her younger siblings and said, (through a mouthful of food)  “It looks weird, but it tastes normal – you guys are going to love it.”  So, I guess that’s a thumbs up.

All 4 of my children happily ate their Kentucky Hot Browns that night.

The Kentucky Hot Brown was invented in 1926 in the kitchen of The Brown Hotel, located in downtown Louisville, KY.  The Brown Hotel is Louisville’s most legendary hotel, built in 1923 and boasting over 293 rooms.  It also serves guests in style with 2 restaurants.   Bobby Flay even did a throw-down with the Chef’s at The Brown Hotel competing against this signature dish.  In case you were wondering, the chef’s representing the Brown Hotel did beat Bobby Flay in the Kentucky Hot Brown throw-down.

The Kentucky Hot Brown is really just an open faced turkey sandwich.  But, don’t let this fool you – it is a flavor experience that you will not believe.  No sandwich ever tasted this good.

To begin, you need some sliced turkey.  If you didn’t roast a turkey this week, some sliced turkey from the deli could serve as a stand-in……. but it won’t be near as tasty or healthy.

The ingredients we will need are:  butter, flour, bone-broth, shredded cheddar cheese, bread, tomatoes, salt & pepper and bacon.

First, fry the bacon.  I learned how to fry bacon in the oven about 6 years ago & haven’t fried it in a skillet since.  This way is much easier & keeps the kitchen cleaner.

Lay the bacon on sheets so the strips just touch each other, but not over-lapping.  Place in a cold oven.  Turn oven on to 425 degrees.  Bake 20 minutes, or until desired crispiness.  

Immediately move bacon to paper towels to drain.

Next, I’m going to make the mornay sauce.  Begin with equal amounts melted butter and flour.

Get this stirred up and cook the flour a few minutes (about 4-5).

It will get thick.  

Add 4 cups bone-broth or stock.  I am using the broth made from roasting the chicken “The Old Fashioned Way.”  

Then add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Taste your sauce and add salt and pepper as necessary.  Be sure to add enough salt.

Slice your tomatoes & toast the slices of bread.

Now the fun part!  Let’s build a Kentucky Hot Brown.

To begin, place a piece of toast in the bottom of a pie pan.

Put some turkey on top of the toast.  I am using a combination of dark and white meat.

Next, drench the turkey with the mornay sauce.  You want the sauce to spill over the sandwich and flow into the bottom of the pan.  

Place a couple slices of tomato over the sauce.  Criss-cross 2 slices of bacon on the tomatoes and top everything with some shredded cheese.

Put the pie-pan’s filled with Hot-Brown-deliciousness into a 350 degree oven and bake until the cheese is melted, the sauce is bubbly, and the whole thing is piping hot.

Serve immediately in the pie pans and you’ll have some very, happy people who will want you to make Kentucky Hot-Brown’s every week for the rest of their lives.

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Kentucky Hot Brown Recipe
The Kentucky Hot Brown is really just an open faced turkey sandwich bursting with turkey, cheesy cream-sauce (mornay), bacon and tomatoes. This is a culinary experience that you will not believe. No sandwich ever tasted this good.
Course Main Dish
Course Main Dish
Recipe Notes

To make mornay sauce:

Melt butter in sauce pan, add flour & whisk to combine.  Cook on medium until thick.  Whisk in broth.  Stir in cheese.  Salt & pepper to taste.

To assemble Hot Browns:

Place toast in pie pan.  Top with sliced turkey.  Pour mornay sauce over turkey.  Place tomato slices, bacon slices over mornay sauce.  Sprinkle cheese on top.  Bake 350 degrees until hot and bubbly (about 15 minutes).

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