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.

Yield: serves 6


  • 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


  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.
  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.