Tahlequah Daily Press

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October 29, 2013

What's in your chili?

TAHLEQUAH — Ask a Cherokee County chili celebrity to share the recipe, and the reply is likely to be tight lips, a scowl, or a “you gotta be kidding” laugh - though many are happy to share advice or name certain ingredients.

While entrants to the Red Fern Festival can keep their secrets, winners of the annual World Champion Chili Cook-Off must spill the chili beans. They are each consoled with $25,000.

Listed below is the verbatim recipe submitted by the 2011 winner, John Jepson of Merced, Calif. The recipe serves 6-8 people.


3 pounds lean tri-tip, cut in 1/2-inch cubes, rinsed

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 cup beef broth

2 1/2 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 1/2 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 1/2 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 1/2 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, 1/2 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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What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
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