Berkshire Grown board member Hester Velmans contributed a delectable Beef, Bourbon, and Roasted Tomato Chili to the Share the Bounty Chili Contest. At the event, she told me about her daughter’s pie-themed wedding held at the family’s barn in Sheffield, Mass. last summer. A friend had given my Pie Contest in a Box as a wedding shower present, which of course I was delighted to hear. Here Hester shares both her chili recipe and photos of the wedding pies – guests brought some 70 pies to the celebration!
Beef, Bourbon, and Roasted Tomato Chili
by Hester Velmans
Here is the unscientific chili recipe (a pinch of this and a pinch of
First, braise the beef:
1 1/2-2 lbs cuts of beef, eg. strip steaks (whole)
1 tbs olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large roasted red pepper, peeled, diced
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 large can crushed tomatoes
4 tbs molassses
2 tbs Bourbon
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground pepper
3 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs smoked paprika
1 tbs cayenne or chili powder
Sauté the vegetables in olive oil until soft, add other ingredients, place
beef in roasting pan and pour the sauce over. Cover with foil and roast in a
325 F oven for 2 1/2 hrs or until you can pull the beef apart with a fork.
Cool beef and then shred it with a fork into small pieces.
Second, make roasted tomatoes (can be done ahead of time):
10 ripe tomatoes, sliced horizontally into thick slices.
Coarse salt, pepper
A few cloves of garlic, not peeled
Place tomato slices and garlic on rimmed baking sheet, dribble with oil,
season and bake in 350 F oven 30 minutes to an hour (check!) until tomatoes are
getting caramelized. Cool, then press soft garlic out of garlic skins;
process everything (scraping up caramelized bits) either in food processor
or through a food mill.
Third, make chili:
1 or 2 tbs olive oil
2 large onions, diced,
3 bell peppers, any color, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 tbs chili powder (check seasoning)
1 tsp each of dried oregano and sage
Salt, pepper to taste
1/2 cup Bourbon
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 ear sweet corn, (cut corn off cob)
In a big pot sauté vegetables (except for corn), add Bourbon, cook for
about 5 minutes to reduce liquid by half, add beans, beef mixture and
roasted tomatoes, cook for about 10 minutes, then add the corn and adjust
seasoning. If too thick, add water or some orange juice.
Best if reheated the next day! Enjoy!
* * * Photos of Hester’s Daughter’s Wedding Pies * * *
Berkshire Grown board member Laury Epstein contributed an extraordinary seafood chili to the Share the Bounty Chili Contest. She graciously shares the recipe below.
Chili of the Sea
by Laury Epstein
Hosteria Fiorella was a wildly popular restaurant on Third Avenue and the mid-60s, near where we lived in New York City. This dish was so popular that in the 1980s New York magazine printed the recipe, as found below.
3 slices pancetta, roughly chopped
10 T olive oil
1 c finely diced yellow onion
10 cloves garlic, crushed
3 fresh chili peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
¾ c white wine
Approximately 6 oz. each fresh chicken and turkey link sausage, precooked for 7 minutes and then cut into ½” slices*
3 c chopped tomatoes
2 c plus 6 T canned tomato sauce
2 ½ c canned Great Northern white beans, drained
¾ lb fish fillet (such as flounder), cut in small cubes
¾ lb calamari, cut in rings
30 littleneck clams, minced
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined and cut into 2 or 3 pieces
2-3 t cumin powder
Salt to taste
2 T cracked black pepper
If desired, sprinkle chopped parsley, basil, and/or cilantro just before serving**
In a good-size pot, sauté pancetta in olive oil until crisp. Add onion, garlic, and chili peppers, and cook until tender. Deglaze pan with wine, then add sausages, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans, and simmer over moderate heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Can make chili up to this point well ahead of serving.
Add fish, calamari, clams, and shrimp. Season with cumin, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring for about 10 minutes. Stir in fresh herbs and cook for 1 minute longer.
*I was in a minor car accident on my way to Guido’s to get the chicken and turkey sausage, but never got there so to mimic their flavor, I added 2 t dried fennel. But I’d rather have used the sausage.
**Same excuse for not including the fresh herbs.
I woke up pondering the extraordinary diversity of chili recipes and crock pot styles on display at yesterday’s Chili Cook-off in a Box Launch Party/Share the Bounty Benefit Chili Contest at The Meat Market. It was chili as window into the soul, and it revealed some beautiful things about our community. My sincere thanks to everybody who participated in and supported the event. We raised $545, which is enough for Berkshire Grown to buy a full CSA farm share to help feed hungry families next year.