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Kentucky Hot Brown from Brown Hotel

Kentucky Hot Brown wins first place for Derby Day


If there ever was a sandwich recipe contest for Derby Day, the Kentucky Hot Brown would win by far more than a “photo finish”.

The Louisville Kentucky hot brown was first served at the Brown Hotel, in Louisville, Ky., in the 1930’s. It’s a famous sandwich especially around Derby Day, and we love it. I don’t make it often simply because it’s so rich, but it sure is good. I like the hotel’s current version of the recipe, which I’m sharing today.

The original recipe used 4 cups of cream and some readers did not have success with that amount of liquid in the sauce.

The Brown hotel uses Texas toast since it adds a bit of sweetness to the sandwich and is easily cut into triangles, and the chef uses Pecorino instead of Parmesan. As for the pepper, I like Cayenne.

I’ve made only slight variations from their Kentucky Hot Brown Recipe.

Kentucky Hot Brown from Brown Hotel

Kentucky Hot Brown from Brown Hotel

Kentucky Hot Brown Recipe

Hot Brown Sauce

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup white Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Several dashes Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper to taste (either black or cayenne pepper)

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich

4 slices thick bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 slices Texas toast or Ciabatta bread, thickly sliced and toasted
1/2 pound good quality roasted turkey breast, sliced fairly thick
1 large tomato, sliced fairly thick

Melt butter over medium heat and add flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes. Add milk and stir, bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in cheeses, mustard, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Preheat broiler and in ovenproof dish, lay bread slices on bottom, and layer with turkey and tomato. Sprinkle with pepper and spoon cheese sauce on top. Place under broiler until brown and bubbly and then top with bacon. Makes 6 sandwiches.

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1 comment

  1. Bill Sandmann

    Dear Rita,

    I read your column every time receive the Ft. Thomas Recorder, and enjoy it very much. I sometimes help my wife Jenny cook when she is busy. My Dad had a food store in Mt. Adams and was a great meat cutter. Because it was a family business, my Mom would cook foods that were left over which exposed me to a variety of dishes that most kids my age never ate. Over the course of her marriage of 40 years she accumulated many recipes that she clipped from various magazines and newspapers. I have all of them and would like to know if you would like them. The’re not in any neat order as I stuffed them in a paper bag from Trader Joes. Mom passed in 1997. I kept them as a memory of her, but they are not being used. I’m certain she would be delighted if some of them were used, One of my favorites was strawberry short cake with whipped cream (made the old fashion way)

    My phone is 859/441-4929

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