Lake Norman Magazine

The Ultimate Hot Brown

Richard Rudisill

Last week’s Kentucky Derby got me thinking; about food of course. More specifically about a sandwich that was born in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1926. I didn’t think about the significance of the year it was conceive until I starting thinking of the commitment it most have taken to put this open-faced sandwich on the menu.Let’s break it down. First off, when you discover that the Hot Brown is a turkey and bacon sandwich you might question the word “commitment” and how it would apply to making a sandwich. Eighty seven years ago turkey was mainly for holidays and not pre-sliced and sold in every food store in plastic bags. Roasting a whole turkey, only to slice and put on bread, probably seemed a bit absurd; and the same could be said about bread. A traditional Hot Brown also has a cheese sauce ladled over top that brings the whole sandwich together. It is known in French cooking as a Mornay sauce, which starts with one of the mother sauces called béchamel. See where all this is going. We take for granted that something as simple as a turkey sandwich can be something spectacular.So take the commitment laid out for you (recipes below) and see for yourself. This version of the sandwich starts the day before by letting the oven dried tomatoes slow cook over night and if you choose to brine the turkey breast. Making the base to this ultimate hot brown is way simpler than you could imagine. Basically pizza dough, it will take some time to rise and rest but I guarantee that you will make it again and again; even when not making a sandwich. Slow cooked bacon, seasoned just right and left a little fatty, brings a salty element to the dish and balancing the whole out. So if you love sandwiches, or just turkey and bacon for that matter, do yourself a favor and take the Hot Brown commitment challenge. You and friends/family will thank you andmore than likely ask you to make it again.

The Ultimate Hot Brown with Oven Roasted Turkey/Bacon/Tomato and Pimento Cheese Mornay Sauce


Roasted Turkey

Oven Roasted Bacon

Oven Dried Tomatoes

Pimento Cheese Mornay