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 * * *
There’s water in our cellar and leaves and small branches scattered about, but we’re fine. It’s a gorgeous day here in the Berkshires — like Irene didn’t happen at our house except I haven’t slept much these past two days.