With fall comes chili, and October has been marked National Chili Month.
Chili is hearty, satisfying, as colorful as the leaves turning and typically fairly healthy on top of it all.
Jessica Thomas, kitchen manager of Archer’s Tavern in Centerville, says she sees a direct correlation between the weather and sales of her restaurant’s chili. She said, “Ohio is such a football and outdoor state — chili is something that goes well with fall and with football.”
Each year Archer’s Tavern runs a contest in September to put a new chili on the menu for the year. This year’s winner is a very basic flavorful chili recipe served with shredded cheese and Fritos.
Thomas said they keep their recipes a secret, but winners of the World Champion Chili Cook-Off have to share. John Jepson, the 2011 winner from Merced, Calif., took home $25,000 and some serious bragging rights when he beat out more than 130 others at the event in Manchester, N.H.
Here’s the recipe he used to win:
JOHN JEPSON’S AWARD-WINNING CHILI
Makes 6 to 8 servings
3 pounds lean tri-tip, cut in ¼-inch cubes, rinsed
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 cup beef broth
2 ½ tablespoons hot New Mexico chili powder, divided use (see cook’s notes)
2 chicken bouillon cubes
6 ounces tomato sauce, divided use
3 tablespoons medium-hot New Mexico chili powder
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 ½ tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt, divided use
3 tablespoons mild California chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Cayenne, to taste
Brown the beef: Set Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pan on medium-high heat and sear the tri-tip until light gray.
Stew the beef: Add to the pot the 1 ½ cups chicken broth, 1 cup beef broth, 2 tablespoons hot New Mexico chili powder, two chicken bouillon cubes and 4 ounces tomato sauce and bring to a full simmer. Reduce heat and let cook for two hours or until meat is tender.
Season, continue simmering: Add to the pot 3 tablespoons medium-hot New Mexico chili powder, 4 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 ½ tablespoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 ounces tomato sauce. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.
Adjust the seasonings: Now add to the pot 3 tablespoons mild California chili powder, ½ tablespoon hot New Mexico chili powder, 1 tablespoon cumin, 2 teaspoons cornstarch and 1 teaspoon salt. Continue to simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
Presentation: Adjust to taste with cumin, salt and cayenne. Adjust thickness with chicken broth.
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