Hot Brown Turkey Burger

May 21, 2011

Inspired by the Kentucky Derby, this burger gives the great taste of a Hot Brown.  If you aren't familiar with a Hot Brown, it is an open face sandwich with sliced turkey, bacon and a wonderful cheese sauce originally from the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.  Other variations include tomato and mushrooms, which I included in this recipe.


2 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/4 cup milk

1 bay leaf

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 onion

2 cloves

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 1/4 pound lean ground turkey

1 medium sliced tomato

6 to 8 sliced white button mushrooms

3 hamburger buns

6 slices of bacon

salt and pepper


The Sauce

1There is cheese sauce, and there is cheese sauce.  This is one of the best. However, that means a bit more work.

2Add the milk, bay leaf, onion, clove and nutmeg to a small sauce pan and simmer over low heat, but don't let come to a boil,  for 15 minutes.

3In another medium sauce pan, add 2 tablespoons of the butter.  Melt over a low heat. Once melted, add flour and stir until smooth.  Cook over medium low heat until a light golden brown, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4Remove the onion, bay leaf and clove from the milk.  Slowly integrate the milk into the butter and flour (roux) by adding small amounts of milk and whisking into the roux. Repeat until all the milk is incorporated.  But go slow or you wind up with lumps.

5To this (Béchamel sauce), slowly stir in the cheeses.   Reduce heat to low and stir occasionally.

The Shrooms

1In a saute pan, saute the mushrooms over medium low heat in the remaining butter until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

The Burgers

1These are just square patties with salt and pepper to taste.  I made them square to fit on the square buns.  If you have round buns,  round patties.

2On a prepared grill, over high direct heat, place the patties and grill for 4 to 6 minutes per side (depending on thickness) until cooked through.

3When you flip, add a tomato slice on each burger to let the tomato cook.

4Since this is poultry, if you are unsure of doneness, best to observe the rules of cooking temps for poultry and make sure internal temp is 160º F.

The Buns

1Slice 'em.

2Toast them on the grill.  Watch 'em closely, they can burn real quick.

The Bacon

1Follow the directions for cooking bacon.

The Assembly with optional broil

1In a baking dish, lay out the toasted bun bottoms.  Add the burger with tomato on top, one on each bun.  Add the mushrooms.  Add two slices of bacon.  Pour a good sized glob of sauce all over each burger.

2At this point, you can optionally put these in your oven (gasp, and oven on a grilling site?) and broil on the top rack until the cheese is brown and bubbly, about 5 to 10 minutes.  This is the traditional way of making the Hot Brown. And after doing that with the leftovers, I wish I had done so with the original burger.  Watch it closely, it goes from brown to black in a very quick period of time.

3Top with the bun, or serve open faced as typical Hot Browns are served.

Enjoy this taste of Kentucky.


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