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This recipe is artery clogging, greasy, cheesy, delicious, and Southern. It looks daunting to create but really isn’t that hard. Though it may be a Kentucky recipe, the average Kentuckian does not serve this daily. It is reserved for those special moments like the Derby or a trip to Keeneland (who has a great hot brown I am told).

The Kentucky Hot Brown (from the Brown Hotel, Louisville, KY)

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 16 oz. heavy cream
  • 1/2 Cup pecorino romano cheese, plus enough to garnish
  • Salt  and pepper to taste
  • 14 oz. sliced roasted turkey breast
  • 2 slices of Texas Toast, prepared according to package directions
  • 4 slices of crispy bacon
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced in half

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 heavy 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 two slice of toast in a cast iron skillet and cover each piece of bread with 7 ounces of turkey. Take the two halves of the tomato and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Pour 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 (oops! my bacon is hidden by cheese sauce), sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.