Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

the real hot brown

a recipe by
Teresa G.
Here, KY

This is the "real deal" Hot Brown sandwich which originated and was served at the famous Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky over 100 years ago. Very rich and delicious, it's the perfect recipe to use for the leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey.

serves 2
prep time 30 Min
cook time 15 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For the real hot brown

  • 1/2 stick
    butter (1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons)
  • 1/3 c
  • 1 qt
    heavy cream
  • 1
    bay leaf
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp
    freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 c
    parmesan cheese, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
  • salt & pepper to taste (i use white pepper)
  • 2 slice
    texas toast or other hearty white bread (crust removed, if desired)
  • 14 oz
    sliced roasted turkey breast
  • 4 slice
    crisp bacon
  • 2
    medium-small tomatoes or 1 medium-large, sliced and blotted dry
  • 1 tsp
    paprika for garnish (optional)
  • 2 tsp
    chopped parsley for garnish

How To Make the real hot brown

  • 1
    NOTE: I've found that this actually makes enough sauce for 3 or 4 servings,
  • 2
    In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter then add the flour to make a roux.
  • 3
    Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • 4
    Remove from heat and whisk in the cream.
  • 5
    Add the bay leaf and nutmeg, return to heat and bring the cream to a simmer, stirring constantly or else the roux will stick to the bottom and burn.
  • 6
    Once it's simmering, cook for two minutes then remove from the heat and add the 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. (NOTE: If you have any lumps before you add the parmesan, don't panic! Put the sauce through a wire mesh strainer over top of another saucepan then add cheese.)
  • 7
    Place a slice of bread in each of two small, oven-safe dishes and cover each with half of the turkey.
  • 8
    Place half of blotted tomato slices on each.
  • 9
    Remove bay leaf from sauce and cover each with half of the sauce.
  • 10
    Sprinkle each dish with the remaining parmesan and put under broiler until lightly browned and bubbling.
  • 11
    Remove from the broiler and cross two slices of bacon over each Hot Brown; garnish with a pinch of paprika and a bit of parsley, if desired.