You'll need some Woodford Reserve on hand to make Churchill Downs chef Kenneth Hardiman's bourbon sweet potato casserole.
– 4 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes – 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed into medium dice – 2 Tsp vanilla extract – ¼ cup Woodford Reserve bourbon – ½ cup light brown sugar – ½ Tsp ground cinnamon – ½ Tsp kosher salt – 1 ½ cups chopped pecans, divided (1/2 for casserole topping) – 2 cups mini marshmallows
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 2. Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot of water, filling the water a couple of inches over the tops of the potatoes. Add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to the water and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes or until they are fork tender and drain. 3. Add the potatoes while still hot to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until you get a smooth consistency.
4. Add the butter, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and 1 cup of the chopped pecans to the bowl and stir to combine with the potatoes. 5. Pour the sweet potatoes into a buttered, 9″ x 13″ (2 quart) casserole dish and top with the marshmallows and the remaining 1/2 cup of pecans. 6. Bake for 25 minutes until the center is hot and the marshmallows have browned. If the marshmallows are getting to brown on top and the casserole isn’t warm yet, spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover the casserole dish until warmed through.