Beef Chili with Bourbon, Beer and Black Beans

Here is a great dish for a crowd. Serve with sour cream and Frito corn chips.

2 dried ancho chilis
boiling water
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 jalapeno peppers, deseeded and chopped
3 fat garlic cloves
2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. red chili flakes
4 lbs. beef sirloin, cut into chunks
2/3 cup bourbon
12 oz. Mexican beer
2 1/2 cups dried black beans
1 qt. cold water
2 tsp. sea salt flakes
2 tbs. maple syrup

Heat the oven to 300°F. Put the ancho chili in a measuring cup and add the boiling water to make 1 cup. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy casserole that can go in the oven. Tip in the onions and cook until softened, 10-12 minutes. Add the jalapeño, garlic, cumin, coriander and chili flakes, then stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the beef, followed by the bourbon. Let it bubble a bit before adding the beer and beans.

Deseed and chop the ancho chilis and add to the pot along with their soaking liquid. Add the water, salt and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, then cover and transfer to the oven for 4 hours. By this time the beef should be meltingly tender and the beans cooked through.

Serves 8-10

Barbecue Beef Mince

Serve this in warmed buns like a sloppy joe, in tortillas with shredded cheddar on in jacket potatoes.

1 celery stalk, cut into chunks
2 onions, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves, peeled
5 rashers bacon
2 tbs. vegetable oil
3 tbs. dark brown sugar
pinch ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 lb. ground beef
1 x 14oz. can chopped tomatoes
3 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
3 tbs. bourbon
2 tbs. tomato paste

Tip the celery, onions, carrots, garlic and bacon into a food processor and blitz to a nubbly paste. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and add the veg. Cook for 15-20 minutes over a low heat. Stir in 1 tbs. of the brown sugar, cloves and allspice. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go. Season well and tip in the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, bourbon, tomato paste and remaining 2 tbs. brown sugar. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, adding a bit more water is needed.

Serves 4


Bourbon-Glazed Ribs

A classic summer supper, with these tender ribs, it’s all about the sauce.

24 pork spare ribs or 2 racks baby back ribs
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
175ml bourbon
2 tbs. yellow American mustard
2 tbs. tomato ketchup
2 tbs. soy sauce

Cut the ribs into sections of 3-4 and place in a zip-lock bag. Tip in the remaining ingredients and squelch everything together well. Marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 425°F. Place the ribs in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour, turning half way through. (Or, grill over a medium heat for a total of 20 minutes, turning often.)

Tip the remaining marinade into a small pan and gently bubble to reduce. Cut the ribs into individual pieces and serve with the sauce.