With post time to the Kentucky Derby approaching, we wanted to share with you a classic and renowned dish from the Bluegrass State: The Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich.
If you are unfamiliar with this decadent open-faced sandwich, the Kentucky Hot-Brown is an iconic dish that hails from Louisville’s Brown Hotel. In the 1920s, chef Frederick Schmidt created this signature hot turkey, bacon & tomato knife-and-fork sandwich to satisfy inebriated ballroom partygoers’ yearning for a needed late-night indulgence — one that would soak up their libations and make for an easier morning after.
Tired of the typical late-night fare (ham & eggs), the word quickly got out, and its popularity has continued to grow since. The Brown Hotel claims to have sold more than 2 million Hot Browns and nearly 1000 during Derby weekends alone.
The original recipe consists of texas toast, topped with carved roasted turkey & roma tomatoes, blanketed in cheesy Mornay sauce, then topped with criss-crossed slices of bacon, before broiling under a Salamander. A Salamander is an open-faced broiler (usually gas) utilized in professional kitchens, and Mornay is a Béchamel (a savory white sauce consisting of butter, flour, and cream), which then has shredded or grated cheese incorporated.
what you need
2 OUNCES UNSALTED SWEET CREAM BUTTER
1 ½ OUNCES ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
10 OUNCES HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM
6 OUNCES HEAVY CREAM
½ CUP PECORINO ROMANO CHEESE + ⅛ CUP FOR GARNISH
¼ CUP EXTRA SHARP WHITE CHEDDAR CHEESE + ⅛ CUP FOR GARNISH
1 FRENCH BOULE (9” TO 10” IN DIAMETER)
2 THICK SLICES ROAST TURKEY BREAST (½ POUND PER SLICE)
3 SLICES OF THICK-CUT BACON
2 LARGE TOMATOES (ONE RED, ONE YELLOW)
A PINCH OF PAPRIKA & CAYENNE
Parsley + Salt & Pepper to Taste
From your French Boule, cut a ½” to 1” thick horizontal slice. Lightly butter both sides & Toast in the oven.
Cook 3 slices of bacon (or 6, because someone will inevitably steal several in-passing), setting aside for later. Finely grate your Pecorino Romano & Sharp White Cheddar cheeses, keeping them separate.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat & slowly whisk in the flour until a roux forms. Cook your roux for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in both the heavy cream & the heavy whipping cream, adding slowly and whisking constantly to prevent the sauce from breaking. Add in the Pecorino.
Center your toasted Boule slice in the middle of your Smithey, followed by the slices of turkey breast. Add two ½” slices of the tomato on top of the turkey
Pour the entirety of your Mornay sauce over the dish, completely covering it. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino & cheddar cheeses, reserving a tablespoon of each to garnish the final dish.
Place the entire skillet under a broiler, keeping a close eye on the dish. Wait until the Mornay sauce begins to brown and bubble.
Remove the skillet from the broiler. Place the remaining slice of each tomato atop the dish followed by 3 pieces of crispy bacon, sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese. Broil on high until the cheese melts
Remove the skillet from the broiler. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and paprika. Cut and serve immediately.
We stand behind the quality of our cookware and will do what it takes to earn your satisfaction. If your Smithey is defective, we’ll replace it. If it fails you after honest and normal use, we’ll repair or replace it.
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Smithey Ironware Company, LLC
1175 Machinist St 43A
Charleston, SC 29412