Nothing says spring in Baltimore more than invitations to tailgate at the steeplechases, to Kentucky Derby parties and to the Preakness Week events! We love our horses and getting together for all the horsey events.
Everyone immediately thinks of red roses and mint juleps for Kentucky Derby parties, but when you plan your menu, do you know that there is also a traditional sandwich? In the 1920’s, chef Fred Schmidt at The Brown Hotel in Louisville created the Louisville Hot Brown sandwich for hotel guests. The recipe has been copied and altered and is now served at most Louisville restaurants and hotels. This is the original Brown Hotel recipe – it makes two whopper-size sandwiches and I’m sure you could downsize the portions and still make the hungriest guests happy. The photo above shows a slightly different version with the tomatoes sliced onto the sandwich and the bacon crumbled over the sandwich. Google Louisville Hot Browns, and there are lots of variations of this recipe available – all of them sound delicious!

The Legendary Hot Brown Recipe

Ingredients (Makes Two Hot Browns):

  • 2 oz. Whole Butter
  • 2 oz. All Purpose Flour
  • 16 oz. 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 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 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.

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