LOUISVILLE’S CULINARY LEGEND, THE HOT BROWN SANDWICH. With so much to boast about —award-winning dining; breathtaking turn-of-the-century architecture; attentive, caring service—some may wonder: "Why the Hot Brown?" that helped put Louisville on the map. Here is the history behind this now legendary dish.
In the 1920s, The Brown Hotel drew over 1,200 guests each evening for its dinner dance. By the wee hours of the morning, guests would grow weary of dancing and make their way to the restaurant for a bite to eat. Sensing their desire for something more glamorous than traditional ham and eggs, Chef Fred Schmidt set out to create something new to tempt his guests' palates. His unique dish? An open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and a delicate Mornay sauce. The Hot Brown was born!
Available in our restaurants, bar and through in-room dining, the Hot Brown continues to exemplify our unending dedication to serving our guests. Such culinary prowess and commitment, of course, doesn’t go unnoticed. The Hot Brown—a Louisville tradition with worldwide appeal—has been featured in Southern Living, The Los Angeles Times, NBC's Today Show, ABC News with Diane Sawyer, Travel Channel's Man v. Food, and The Wall Street Journal, and is a regular entry in many of the world’s finest cookbooks.
What is involved is simple. Slicing the bread, classically using Texas Toast. Hand pulling the turkey or chicken, Slicing the beefsteak tomatoes, Then straight into the oven to cook while you make the cheesy Mornay sauce.
Photo: Setup/layout before the cheesy Mornay sauce
While making the cheesy mornay sauce the Bacon will be roasting away at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Turns out super crispy in the oven
Instant Pot recipes are high on my list these days. I'm a fan. The Instant Pot really does replace a number of gadgets in the kitchen. Does everything from a slower cooker, allowing you to retire the old school Crockpot. Yep, bye crockpot. Nothing wrong with a classic crockpot. But the crockpot has a ton of limitations compared to the Instant Pot.
It speeds up cooking by 2~6 times using up to 70% less energy and, above all, produces nutritious healthy food in a convenient and consistent fashion.
Roux / Base
- High Quality Butter 4 tablespoon
- All-Purpose Flour 3 tablespoon
- Milk 3 ¼ cups
Rest of the Ingredients
- Bacon 12 Slices
- Italian Blend of Cheeses (Classicly Pecorino Romano) 1 ½ cups
- White Pepper ⅛ teaspoon
- Texas Toast (Each serving requires 2 pieces) 12 slices
- Vine Ripen tomatoes (Classicly: BeefSteak Tomatoes)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place slices of bacon on a wire rack and roast for about 30 minutes. Be sure to start checking around the 20 minute mark. All Bacon comes sliced in different thicknesses, so cooking times will vary.
- Each serving requires two pieces of Texas toast. Cut off the crust on both pieces. The second piece, slice in half diagonally(triangles)
- Place one piece of Texas toast in the middle of your oven-safe plate. Lay the two triangles on each side of the Texas toast. This sandwich is served as an open-faced sandwich. Hand pull the roasted Turkey or Chicken and place on top of the Texas toast. Slice the tomatoes and place on the side of the Texas toast. I placed three slices per side. Straight into the oven while you make the cheese Mornay sauce. Perfect amount of time to make the sauce.
Making the Cheesy Mornay Sauce
- ((Not using the Instant Pot))
- See link above the recipe card for the link making a classic Bechamel sauce. Just add the cheese and you'll have Mornay sauce.
- Using the Instant Pot
- Remove the lid. Select the Saute cooking option. Each time you press the Saute button the cooking temperature will change. Three options, less, normal & more. We need the heat setting set to "Normal". The Instant Pot will turn on. Once it has come to temperature the front display will read "HOT".
- Chef Tip: Measure out 2 ¼ cups of the milk in one glass and one cup of milk in another. The second cup of milk will be your lifeline once you add the cheese. The sauce will try to tighten up on you very quickly. The extra milk will allow you to control the thickness you want.
Starting the Sauce
- Add all the butter to the Instant Pot and melt. Once melted add the flour and cook for a minute. Once the butter and flour have come together add in ⅓ of the milk from the 2 ¼ measured glass. This will help with not getting lumps. They will mix together very quickly as this happens add the remaining milk from the same measured glass, holding back the additional 1 cup of milk.
- Stir, stir, stir...The sauce will come together, but not too thick and will coat the back of a spoon. This only takes a few minutes. About 2 to 3. Stir, Stir Stir. Then its time to add in the cheese. Start with a cup of cheese and combine. Everything will start to get tight fast. Add in either, the remaining cheese, or add in some of the milk. You have all the control here to achieve the consistency you want. Add in a pinch of white or black pepper. No salt needed. The cheese brings the salt needed.
- Check the oven and pull out the Texas toast. Ladle the Cheesy Mornay sauce over the top of the Turkey or Chicken. mmm...Then add 4 pieces of bacon to the top. I like placing two going in one direction and the other two a different direction for a nice presentation. Add a sprinkle of papkira and your all set.