The Big Barn Break-In with “Chili Style Stew” and Corn Bread


What a week! We now have 300 cows milking at the robotic barn. The girls, (cows and wives)  are loving it! They really just need encouraging to get into the milking stall, but most of the cows are now walking in themselves to be milked. It is so quiet and peaceful in the barn. So far so good as we look towards the next week and the boys now left to run the barn without help. We know there will be challenges ahead, but I am so proud of my husband, uncle Jack and our family. We are beyond thankful to be a part of family and community that is supporting us in this amazing venture!img_3579

The first night shift we served this chili out of a crock pot for the crew. We were blown away at the sacrifices our friends and family made to help out for the night.  I watched as more faces continued to appear in the glow of the new barn lights to help out!  My heart was warmed and I  just hoped the chili could feed everyone!

This recipe is almost a cross between a stew and a chili, it has hearty vegetables including potatoes, combined with both black and pinto beans in a sweet and savory sauce made of molasses, beer, and balsamic. I add lots of nutmeg and fresh black pepper to layer warmth. Serve along side you favorite cornbread, I use Dave’s Famous, and add 1/2 c of my dairy farm fresh Yogurt to the recipe! Feel free to use other vegetables and double recipe for even larger crowds!

“Chili Style Stew” 

Ingredients:                                                                          Yield: Approx. 10 Servings


  • 1 yellow onion – diced
  • 4-5 Medium potatoes cubed
  • 3 Clerey Stalks – diced
  • 3 Large carrots – diced
  • 3 Jalopenos- seeded and diced
  • 2 15 oz Cans of Pinto Beans
  • 2 15 oz Cans Black Beans
  • 1 32 oz can Baked Beans
  • 4 Cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 C Molasses
  • 1/3 C Ketchup
  • 1/4 C Balsalmic
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 1/3 C Sierra Nevada (Preferred!) Beer
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Nutmeg
  • Meat: pulled pork, sausage, ground beef or a combinations of all (used here)

Directions: Using heavy bottom pot or cast iron, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic, onion and celery, salt and stir until translucent.

Add the carrots, jalapeno and potato, sauteing an additional 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir in meat and brown for 5-10 minutes. Add the beans, all of them! Stir to combine for a few minutes. Next add Molasses, nutmeg, ketchup, black pepper and balsamic and let cook stirring occasionally for an additional 5 minutes.

Add the beer and taste. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning. recommend simmering 3 hours or more to thicken and bring out flavors. May be made ahead and reheated! Enjoy!

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