Kentucky Hot Brown


Star chef Bobby Flay smothers an open-face turkey sandwich with cheese sauce and bacon for his version of the over-the-top Louisville classic.

Kentucky Hot Brown
Watch the races while enjoying a Kentucky hot brown, pickled shrimp deviled eggs, cheesy grits and more. Photo: © BARNARD & MEYER
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
8 sandwiches



  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (6 ounces)

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • Few dashes of hot sauce

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper


  • 16 slices of thick-cut bacon

  • 2 tomatoes, cut into eight 1/4-inch-thick slices

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices of day-old white sandwich bread

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 2 pounds roast turkey breast, sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (4 1/2 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • Chopped chives and chopped parsley, for garnish


Make the sauce

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk over moderate heat for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the hot milk and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in both cheeses until melted. Stir in the nutmeg and hot sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Make the sandwiches

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Arrange the bacon on a rack set over a baking sheet. Cook until golden and crisp, about 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat the broiler. Arrange the tomato slices on a baking sheet, drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil 6 inches from the heat until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes per side; keep warm.

  3. Arrange the bread on a foil-lined baking sheet and spread each slice with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter; season with salt and pepper. Broil until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Flip the bread and toast for 1 minute. Top each toast with some turkey and a slice of tomato. Spoon the sauce on top and sprinkle on both cheeses. Broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the sandwiches to plates and top with the bacon. Garnish with chopped chives and parsley and serve hot.

Make Ahead

The sauce can be refrigerated overnight and rewarmed before using.

Suggested Pairing

WINE: Juicy, vibrant Barbera d’Alba.

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