Jim Clark’s Chili

  • Serves

    serves 6

Forget Texas! Amateur chef Jim Clark won the 1980 Great Chili Cookoff in Galena, Illinois, with this recipe, and Benjamin's, a local eatery, served it for years. Clark still makes it—and still grinds his own chili powder. He also thinks that freezing improves this chili's flavor, so make it in advance.


  • 2 yellow onions, peeled
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 shallots, peeled
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded
  • 2 lb. beef chuck
  • 1 lb. pork shoulder
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 (28-oz.) cans tomatoes with juice Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 2 cups cooked kidney beans


Step 1

Dice onions, garlic, shallots and green pepper. Cut beef and pork into small pieces. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and pork and brown, turning, for 5 minutes. Add onions, garlic, shallots, and peppers, mix well, then add chili powder. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

Step 2

Add tomatoes, salt, and herbs and allow mixture to return to a simmer. Lower heat, cover, and barely simmer until meat is tender, about 2 hours. Add beans, cook for an additional 30 minutes, and serve.

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