The Kentucky Hot Brown open-faced sandwich was originally created in 1926 at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Since then, there have been many variations of the sandwich… but one thing all can agree on is that it’s a MUST on Kentucky Derby day!
Here we used lightly toasted English muffins for the bread and deli sliced ham for the meat, though turkey or a combination of the two can also be used. As if the tomato and bacon weren’t enough, the classic bechamel sauce makes this sandwich something extra special!
Kentucky Hot Brown recipe
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3-1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 English muffins, sliced and lightly toasted
- 20 slices, deli ham (or turkey)
- 4 slices ripe tomato
- 8 slices bacon, cooked and blotted dry
- Paprika for garnish
- Preheat broiler to medium-high.
- Make the bechamel sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk. Bring sauce to a boil, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Place the 4 English muffin slices (insides facing up) on a cookie sheet. Spoon some bechamel sauce over each muffin. Place 5 slices of folded ham on top of each muffin, spoon a bit more sauce on top of the ham. Top each of them off with a tomato slice, a bit more sauce and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.
- Place pan in the broiler for about 5-8 minutes. Remove from the broiler and top each Hot Brown with two slices of crispy bacon in a crisscross pattern. Sprinkle with paprika and serve hot.