A great chili recipe will warm both body and soul.
A memorable chili recipe achieves a lauded stature based on its ability to stand the test of time, returning to our tables season after season when the temperature cools.
We can remember a varied representation of such chili concoctions. All taste-tested, the recipes are taken from past pages of our sister publication, The Canton Repository.
The first is a recipe by Bobby Graffice, whose chili was judged the best of more than two dozen offerings at an Alliance contest in 2011 judged by former Repository food writers Jennifer Mastroianni and Saimi Rote Bergmann.
Mastroianni called it a “rich and meaty recipe that contains not only ground beef but also chuck roast and chunks of pork.”
In another article by Mastroianni in 2011, Kathy Fielding served up our second recipe, a chicken-based one that does not contain tomatoes or red beans.
“My Southwestern White Chili earned me a first place at a contest at my church,” Fielding told Mastroianni. “Whenever I make it, it’s always scraped to the bottom of the crock pot.”
In 2017, another Repository food writer, the late Denise Sautters, made a vegetable chili recipe by Robbe Kerzan of North Canton and served it to the newspaper’s “Taste Test team.”
Bobby Graffice’s Winning Chili
2 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound boneless pork chops, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound ground beef
2 large red sweet onions, chopped
2 large green bell peppers, chopped
6 jalapeño peppers, finely diced
1 4-oz. can chopped green chilies
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 28-oz. can and 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
4 14-oz. cans beef broth
1 cup chili sauce
3 tablespoons cumin powder
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 teaspoons salt
4 bottles Budweiser beer
1 16-oz. can red kidney beans
1 16-oz. can white kidney beans
2 6-oz. cans tomato paste
In a large skillet, brown and drain beef and pork. Add onions, jalapeños, green peppers and chilies, cook until tender. Place into large stock pot and add all remaining ingredients except for the beans and tomato paste. Cook over low to medium heat for 6 to 8 hours. Add beans and tomato paste during last 2 hours of cooking.
Kathy’s Southwestern White Chili
14 cup oil 12 cup diced onion
1 1/3 cup diced sweet bell pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
4 1/2 cups water
8 teaspoons chicken soup base (not bouillon)
2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
2 packs traditional dry chili mix
1 4 oz. can green chili’s with juice
3 regular size or 1 large can Navy beans (45-50 ounces total), undrained
1 cup sour cream
1 50-oz. can cooked, diced chicken (or 4 cups chicken)
Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add onions, bell peppers and garlic. Cook until tender, remove from heat. In another container, combine water, chicken base, lime/lemon juice, sugar, corn starch and seasoning. Mix and add to vegetables in pot. Add green chilies and bring to boil. Add beans, chicken and sour cream. Simmer 10 minutes to thicken and blend flavors. Top with cheese, diced onions or sour cream and serve with tortilla chips or corn bread.
Robbe Kerzan’s Hearty Veggie Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium zucchini chopped
2 large portobello mushroom caps, chopped
1 cup corn (frozen or canned, drained)
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, no salt
1 can (15 ounces) great northern beans, no salt
1 can (15 ounces) white cannellini beans, no salt
1 can (15 ounces) vegetable broth, low sodium, fat free
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, no salt
1 cup water 3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sugar or Splenda
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Heat oil in large Dutch oven, add onion, bell pepper, celery and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat until starting to soften. Add garlic, zucchini, mushrooms and corn, and cook 3 minutes longer. Add beans (rinsed and drained), broth, crushed tomatoes and spices, and increase heat to medium high for 5 minutes longer. Cover and cook 20 minutes on simmer, stirring occasionally. The chili can be transferred to a crockpot on low for an additional 3 to 4 hours. For cold fall and winter days, serve with jalapeño corn bread or lightly salted crackers.
Serve with chili bar toppings: chopped avocados, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, tortilla strips, chopped scallions, fresh lime wedges, red pepper flakes and fresh chopped cilantro.