The perfect indulgence to honour the Kentucky Derby, this open-faced sandwich is stuffed full of roasted turkey, tomatoes, mornay sauce, and bacon.
Think on it Thick slices of roasted turkey, juicy tomatoes, smoked bacon, melting white cheddar, and an amazing Mornay sauce are all sandwiched between toasted country white bread. Perfect for lunch, supper, brunch, or morning! And putting it together is simple!
You’ll like a Kentucky Hot Brown if you enjoy a hot turkey sandwich made the old-fashioned way.
Thinly sliced roasted turkey, tomato, and a creamy mornay sauce are piled high on a thick slice of toasty bread in this rich and extravagant open-faced sandwich. Then the dish is broiled until the sauce has developed some browning. Crispy bacon slices and fresh parsley are then added as garnish.
A Kentucky Hot Brown is the epitome of gluttony. The tomato that has been briefly grilled adds tang, the bacon adds crispness, the cheese sauce adds creaminess, and the toast is there to sop up all the extra sauce. If you need a side dish to go with it, a straightforward salad can help counteract the richness.
How To Make Kentucky Brown
This dish is lavish but indulgent. It combines flavours that are the epitome of comfort.
The name comes from the fact that it was actually developed at the Brown Hotel in the 1920s.
Don’t expect a brown sauce, but do expect a taste sensation.
The final product, like practically every recipe we can think of, is only as good as the quality of the ingredients used.
To that end, why not make your own bread if you want to create the best hot brown dish possible?
It’s easier than you think and the taste is heavenly.
The best roasted turkey, thick slab bacon, and freshest tomatoes should all be purchased.
Also required is premium sharp white cheddar cheese. Of course, good country white bread also makes a fantastic foundation.
EXPERT TIP: Our favourite supermarket’s deli department is where we purchase our roast turkey. We offer smoked Black Forest roast turkey and request that it be cut into 14-inch-thick slices.
How To Make Mornay Sauce
One element of this dish that truly makes it opulent and a little bit sinful is the Mornay Sauce.
To make the sauce, Simply make a roux with butter and flour, then whisk in warmed whole milk to create the sauce. Add shredded white cheddar cheese, grated Parmesan, nutmeg, hot sauce, salt, and pepper when it has thickened. So simple!
EXPERT TIP: For up to an hour, the Mornay sauce will stay warm in a closed pan. It is also simple to reheat over a medium heat. At the meal, we enjoy passing extra sauce.
This Kentucky Hot Brown is rich and incredibly satisfying. If you use premium ingredients, open-faced sandwich nirvana will be yours! The sauce can be made a day ahead of time and then warmed up before use.
Course: Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner, Sandwich Cuisine: Southern, Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour Servings: 6 people Calories: 933kcal
2 baking sheets, or a large cast iron skillet
FOR THE MORNAY SAUCE
- 2½ cups whole milk
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups cheddar cheese white, grated, you’ll need more for the sandwich, see below
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese finely grated
- ¼ tsp nutmeg ground
- 1 tsp hot sauce ie, Crystals, Louisiana, Tobasco
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE SANDWICHES
- 1 lb applewood smoked bacon thick cut
- 2 large tomatoes sliced, you’ll need 6 to 8 slices
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 slices white bread thick slices, country white
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 lbs roast turkey sliced into thick slices (1/4-inch is good)
- 1½ cups cheddar cheese white, shredded
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp chives chopped, for garnish
MAKE THE MORNAY SAUCE
1. In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir for about a minute.
3. Add the hot milk gradually while whisking, then simmer. About 5 to 7 minutes of continuous cooking and whisking will thicken the mixture. (If it thickens up too much, add a bit more milk.)
4. The cheese should be melted by the time you remove the pan from the heat. Add the spicy sauce and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and leave out.
PREPARE THE SANDWICHES
- Cook the bacon in the oven or in a large skillet until crisp. Set aside.
- Preheat the broiler on high.
- Arrange the tomato slices on a baking sheet. Add salt and pepper and sprinkle with oil.
- Butter both sides of the bread slices and place on a baking sheet
- Broil until lightly charred, flip, and lightly char the other side. (Time will vary, depending on your broiler, just keep an eye on them). Cover with foil to keep warm.
- Place the bread and tomatoes in the oven, if both baking sheets can fit under the broiler. After approximately a minute, flip the bread and tomatoes. Watch them closely and don’t let them burn! Broil bread and tomatoes separately if there isn’t enough space for both at once.
- Arrange the pieces of bread on a baking sheet (you may need to use two baking sheets). One or two turkey slices should be placed on top of each toast slice. Place about a half cup of the sauce on top of the turkey, followed by the cheeses, which you should distribute evenly among all of the sandwiches.
- Lower the broiler to low and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Once more, watch them closely and don’t let them burn!
- Place the sandwiches on plates and garnish with chives, a tomato slice or two, and some bacon pieces. Instant service
Any good-quality sliced bread would do, though we strongly advise preparing the country white bread from scratch.
Our favourite supermarket’s deli department is where we purchase our turkey. Request that it be sliced nice and thick—roughly 1/4-inch. Although we prefer smoked Black Forest, you can use whatever you prefer.
The Mornay sauce can be prepared the previous day and then warmed up slowly on the stovetop just before serving.
Serving these in individual casserole dishes or cast iron skillets is also entertaining. However, it’s also really impressive when presented on individual plates.
Calories: 933kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 187mg | Sodium: 2969mg | Potassium: 774mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1386IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 648mg | Iron: 4mg