Friday, January 19, 2018

The “Hot Brown” – Kentucky’s Favorite Bourbon Absorbent

As I joked about in the intro, for something to be called a “Hot Brown,” and still become so wildly popular, is a true testament to just how amazingly delicious this really is. 

Invented at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, to help late night partygoers keep going, this hot turkey gratin may be my all-time favorite, fork and knife sandwich.

And for something that seems so decadent, I don’t actually find it to be all that heavy of a meal. Of course, that could be the bourbon talking. I guess you could use milk instead of cream to lighten this up, but unless you’re going to start eating these several times a week, I think you should stick to the original formula.

I’m sure this would be okay with some thickly sliced turkey from the deli, but roasting your own is pretty easy, and you can use the leftovers for a few less extravagant sandwiches. Either way, I really do hope you give this Kentucky classic a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for the sauce (enough for 4 small or 2 giant portions):
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for grating on top
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste

For the turkey (enough for 4 portions):
1 teaspoon oil or butter to grease baking dish
2 pound boneless turkey breast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence, or other dried/fresh herbs of your choice
- Roast at 350 F. to an internal temp of 148 F.

For each Hot Brown:
2 pieces white bread, toasted
6 ounces roast turkey breast (3 thick slices)
3 slices of tomato
enough prepared cheese sauce to cover
grated Pecorino Romano for the top
paprika or cayenne for the top
2 slices bacon, precooked
chopped Italian parsley

- Finish under a low broiler, or in 475 F. oven until the sauce is bubbly and browned, and the bacon is cooked. To cheat, you can cook bacon crisp separately, and just top the finished dish, but I think it tastes better if you brown with the bacon on top.

19 comments:

Sullivan's Papa said...

Dear Chef John,
I'm a daily if not hourly visitor to Food Wishes and AllRecipes.com
I noticed that not all of the Food Wishes video posts are available on Allrecipes.
I like to Save on Allrecipes due to the ease of printing on paper.
Will all of the Food Wishes video posts eventually make it to Allrecipes, such as Chennai Chicken and Chicago Deep Dish pizza posts?
Have learned a lot from you and will be eternally grateful.
Are road shows or a book deal in the future?

Mano said...

Hey chef,

would this work with skinless turkey breast too?

Best!

Frank said...

If you ever need a volunteer to help you with left-overs, please contact me.

Enrique b said...

Dear Chef


I follow your recipes on youtube for months, please. Can you include subtitles in English?

So, I can follow them better.

thanks from Spain...

Enrique

Daniel Halsey said...

Chef John,
Just want to say that I love what you do! I was always too intimidated to cook anything, but your videos gave me the confidence to try it. Now I cook almost every day! You're truly an inspiration, and it's not an exaggeration to say that you changed my life for the better.

As for my food wish: keeping with the regional theme, can we get a video on a philly cheesesteak? Would love to see your take on it!

Evan said...
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Evan said...
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Evan said...

Chef John! As a Kentuckian, this video was a treat. Especially the Kentucky basketball reference! I do have to tell you, in Kentucky, we pronounce Louisville as either Loo-uh-vul (three syllables), or Luh-vul (two syllables). I’m looking forward to hearing your revised pronunciation in the inevitable Derby Pie video! Go Cats!

Sean Martindale said...

Chef John,

You execute a Louisville classic perfectly. The original version in the English Grill dining room at The Brown Hotel is THE dish to try for any foodwishes fans whose travels bring them to town. Thanks for posting your authentic version of our famous hometown dish.

Sean Martindale

A-Ok said...

Looks awesome. That sauce would be great on SO MANY things!
I hope you’re up for some more sous vide recipes! I saw your video on duck and actually purchased a moderately priced machine. Food Wish: Anything sous vide, but especially a dessert that is not custard based! Rumor is... bread can be cooked in mason jars ?!?{excited emoji!!!}

kaptain_zero said...


(This "comment" is meant more as an email message to you, not as a commentary on any specific blog topic).

Hello and greetings from the great white north... also known as Canada. Currently it's a blistering hot 17.6 F which is a wonderful change from the -30ish Fahrenheit we had last week.

Your recipes have brought back many memories of my childhood, such as your version of goulash (which is currently on the stove). I grew up in Norway, and 2 things I am still looking for are as follows:

Boneless birds (sort of like rouladen, but there is some sort of fat or marrow cubes in the middle, and I am uncertain of the meat used as all I can remember is that beef was much more expensive than pork.

The other is a sausage called "medister". Typically it's pale or white in color, often poached/served in a sauce/gravy, but sometimes also simply placed in the roasting pan together with a pork rib roast for Christmas during the last bit of cooking time. Medister was also available as a farce at the local butchers for making patties/loaves or use in other dishes.

So, while the search continues for *my* holy grail of sorts, perhaps it might give you an idea for a video in the future, for when YOU are struggling with finding something "new" to write about.

Lisa M said...

Cool recipe, I gotta try it! BTW chef, we haven't seen the freakishly small wooden spoon lately...

Lisa M said...

Cool recipe, I gotta try it! BTW chef, we haven't seen the freakishly small wooden spoon lately...

Lisa M said...

Cool recipe, I gotta try it! BTW chef, we haven't seen the freakishly small wooden spoon lately...

Dianne said...

Hello Chef John; Like many, I have such success with your recipes! Truly enjoy your blog, videos and especially your good humor! Searched your site for a florentine cookie recipe and didn't find anything. Any chance you can add this to your list? Sorry to post here but I couldn't find another way to reach out to you. Much appreciated, -Dianne-

Unknown said...

Looks amazing.... as usual! For some reason I can’t find where to make another foodwish request so I’m doing it here. You did a pork cutlet aka schnitzel awhile back that was good. After visiting Germany I had a Schnitzel cordon bleu that was amazing. Wondering if you could incorporate that into a recipe? I know it’s basic and simple but you always seem to make even the basic and simple amazing! My attempt at it would probably be either too much of this or too much of that or just plain boring.

Dianne said...

Hello Chef John,

I left a comment on this post and was wondering if you reply to comments?

tonkaslim said...

I added some baby spinach as I felt like this needed a little more green than a sprinkle of parsley— sort of deconstructed BLT, though much richer. Delicious, perhaps decadently so.

nick said...

Awesome sandwich.