Mint Juleps and The Kentucky Derby – you cannot hardly think of one without the other. But did you know that there is also a traditional Kentucky Derby sandwich?

The Louisville Hot Brown is named after the Brown Hotel in Louisville, which first served the sandwich in the 1920s. It is a delicious open-faced turkey sandwich, topped with bacon, tomato and Mornay sauce.

There are variations of the recipe, but the original one from the Brown Hotel will go over well with guests at a Kentucky Derby Party.

The Legendary Hot Brown

Makes 2 Hot Browns

  • 2 oz. Butter
  • 2 oz. Flour
  • 8 oz. Heavy Cream
  • 8 oz. Whole Milk
  • ½ Cup of Pecorino Romano Cheese, plus 1 Tablespoon for Garnish
  • Pinch of Ground Nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 14 oz. Sliced Roasted Turkey Breast, Slice Thick
  • 4 Slices of Texas Toast (Crust Trimmed)
  • 4 Slices of Crispy Bacon
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, Sliced in Half
  • Paprika
  • Parsley

In a 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 and whole milk 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 nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

For each Hot Brown, place two slices of toast with the crusts cut off in an oven safe dish – one slice is cut in half corner to corner to make two triangles and the other slice is left in a square shape – then cover with 7 ounces of turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and two toast points and set them alongside the base of the turkey and toast. Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese. Place the 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.

Image courtesy of BrownHotel.com

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