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Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown

Big Green Egg Kentucky Hot Brown

Well, it is that time of year again and Mrs. Buddha and I are excited to make our way to Louisville, KY and take part in the Kentucky Derby festivities. To get us primed for the fun ahead we decided to make a Derby themed meal this weekend. There are many things that define Louisville, KY in the culinary world but at the top of the list are the Kentucky Hot Brown and the official Derby drink, Mint Julep. The Hot Brown is a sandwich made famous at the Brown Hotel in Louisville back in the 1920’s. This open faced turkey sandwich was the choice of guests at the hotel after a late night of drinking and dancing. I decided to do a version of this sandwich using the Big Green Egg. Now sit back, grab your Mint Julep, and enjoy this post for Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown.

Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown
Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown

Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown

As I had no leftover turkey to use I picked up a couple of boneless turkey breasts for this meal. Seasoned with salt and pepper it was time to cook them.

Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown
Season the turkey

Turkey can be dry if not cooked correctly so I decided to use my Sousvide Supreme to cook moist and perfect Turkey.

Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown
Vacuum seal

The vacuum sealed turkey breasts were dropped in the 140° water bath for 2.5 hours.

Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown
Place in Sous-Vide machine

As the turkey cooked in the Sous-vide machine I started on the other ingredients. First up was the bacon. I essentially made “Pig Candy” to elevate the bacon part of this sandwich to the next level.

Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown
Make the bacon

Next I tossed the tomatoes in olive oil, salt, and pepper then grilled them direct with the BGE heated to 350°.

Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown
Grill the tomatoes

Thick slices of Italian bread with butter, salt, and pepper were grilled next.

Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown
Grill the bread

As I had all the ingredients prepped and was now waiting on the turkey to finish I had time to make a Mint Julep. I always use Woodford Reserve for this cocktail as my Bourbon of choice.

Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown
Have Mint Julep

While Mrs. Buddha made the Mornay Sauce, I took the turkey out of the Sous-vide Supreme and sliced it. All of the ingredients were ready for sandwich assembly.

Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown
Sousvide turkey

Time to confess… I had so much fun drinking my cocktail I forgot to take pictures of Mrs. Buddha making the Mornay Sauce and of the sandwich construction. For those who want to know: I assembled the bread, sliced turkey, and tomato slices in a cast iron pan. Then I poured the Mornay Sauce all over the open faced sandwiches and placed the cast iron pan in the Big Green Egg for 10-15 minutes until the sauce was bubbly and slightly browned. Then I topped of the sandwiches with the bacon and served right in the cast iron pan.

Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown
Finished off in a Lodge Cast Iron Pan
Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown
Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown
Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown
Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown

Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe for Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown is the perfect dish for your next Derby party. Paired with a Mint Julep you will represent Louisville well.
Recipe type: Poultry
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • Mornay Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Sandwich:
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless turkey breasts
  • 4 slices of thick cut bacon
  • 4 thick slices of Italian bread
  • 2 Red tomatoes sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Mornay Sauce:
  2. To prepare sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour, stirring well with a whisk.
  3. Gradually add milk, pepper, and salt, stirring constantly with a whisk until blended.
  4. Place over medium heat; cook until thick (about 5 minutes), stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat; stir in cheese.
  6. Sandwich:
  7. Vacuum seal the turkey breasts with salt and pepper
  8. Preheat the sous-vide machine to 140
  9. Cook the turkey breasts in the sous-vide machine for 2.5 hours
  10. Preheat the BGE to 350
  11. Cook the bacon, tomatoes, and bread
  12. Slice the turkey
  13. Place bread in a cast iron pan
  14. Add the sliced turkey and sliced tomatoes to the bread
  15. Cover with the Mornay Sauce
  16. Place the cast iron pan in the BGE for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and slightly browned
  17. Add the bacon, chopped chives, and serve

Kentucky Mint Julep
Prep time
Total time
This is my recipe for a Mint Julep. Classic bourbon cocktail served every year at the Kentucky Derby.
Recipe type: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
  • Fresh mint
  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz Simple Syrup
  • Crushed ice
  1. Muddle fresh mint at the bottom of your glass
  2. Add the bourbon and mix
  3. add the simple syrup and mix
  4. Add the crush iced and stir
  5. Top off with fresh mint and serve



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