I love traveling to different parts of the country and trying foods that are special to that area. On a recent trip to Louisville, Kentucky. I knew we had to try a hot brown sandwich at the establishment where it was originally created.
What is a hot brown sandwich?
It’s an open-faced sandwich that was created by Fred K. Schmidt in 1926 at The Brown Hotel. The original hot brown is served on white toast with a generous serving of Mornay sauce on top. It also includes a slice of roast turkey and Parmesan cheese on top. The dish is oven broiled and is topped with bacon and Paprika after coming out of the oven.
Can you really go wrong with anything with bacon????
We decided to taste our first Hot Brown Sandwich at Graham’s Cafe and Bar which is the home of the Original Hot Brown Sandwich at The Brown Hotel.
If you are planning on trying the Hot Brown Sandwich, you should note that it takes about 20 minutes to make. We had a light breakfast that morning so we dove into our dishes when we got them. The flavors were a unique blend that was really filling.
I kept on taking bites trying to determine what my opinion was of it. The dish was good. I enjoyed the turkey with the sauce and bacon never disappoints. The dish is something that your waistline would have to spread out over time. I’m still glad we tried it but it’s definitely not a meal I could eat every day.
The Hot Brown Sandwich is such a local favorite in Louisville that other restaurants have created their spins on the original. There are more than 35 restaurants that offer this culinary creation. You can even try The Hop Brown Hop to determine which version is your favorite.
After your meal, make sure that you go up to the 2nd and 3rd floor to view the incredible design detail. The Brown Hotel was built in 1923 by millionaire J. Graham Brown. The hotel has hosted lots of celebrities and dignitaries from all over the world over the years.
When the Ohio River flooded in 1937, witnesses at the hotel saw a rowboat paddle in one side of the hotel and out the opposite side. A bell captain also caught a fish in the 2nd floor lobby during the flood!
Want to try to make a Hot Brown Sandwich at home?
Legendary Hot Brown Recipe from the Brown Hotel
Ingredients (Makes Two Hot Browns):
- 2 oz. whole butter
- 2 oz. all-purpose flour
- 8 oz. heavy cream
- 8 oz. whole milk
- 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 (crusts trimmed)
- 4 slices of crispy bacon
- 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and a thick paste (roux) forms. 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.
You can also try this modified version
The Brown Hotel is located at 335 West BroadwayLouisville, Kentucky 40202