Jane Windham’s recipe for Chili with a kick


1 1/4 lb. ground beef chuck
1 cup bourbon
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried sage
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 bell peppers, seeded and chopped (1 each of red, green, and orange)
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup orange juice (I used lemon juice)
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup sour cream
3 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
4 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded (I used Monterrey Jack)


1. In a large pot over medium heat, add beef, 1/4 cup bourbon, half the garlic, oregano and sage. Cook, breaking up beef with with a wooden spoon, until meat is browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef mixture to a medium bowl and set aside; discard remaining juices.

2. In the same pot over high heat, heat olive oil. Add onion, bell peppers, jalapeno, orange juice, butter, and remaining garlic.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add chili powder, cayenne, and salt and cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute. Add remaining bourbon, reduce heat to medium, and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 8 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil over medium-heat heat. Add beans and reserved beef. (If mixture is dry, add up to 1 cup of water.) Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour. Before serving, stir together sour cream and mint in a small bowl. Divide chili among bowls and garnish each with about 1 tablespoon Cheddar and 2 teaspoons mint sour cream.

Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread.

Notes: I used a variety of peppers because I had some in the garden. I substituted lemon juice for the orange juice and omitted the dried sage. I also used my own canned tomatoes. Adding the fresh mint to the sour cream really adds something special to the chili.

This recipe originally appeared in the October 2012 issue of Country Living Magazine. Reader Brian Miske, submitted the recipe, and it’s a good one!

See more from Jane Windham at cottageatthecrossroads.com.

Author: Stephan Drew

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