1987 -Margo's Chili

byMargo Knudson


George Horn, of the national accounting firm Pannell, Kerr, Forster, certified the votes of the judges and announced that Margo Knudson, the High Sierra Champion, had won the 21st Annual World's Championship Chili Cookoff. Margo is the fifth woman to win the World's Championship and the third High Sierra champion to capture the title of World's Champion Chili Cook. She also took home a check for $25,000. Richard Rutherford, the Colorado State Champion was second; third went to Bob Grayson, the Oregon Champ; Jean Simmons, the Tennessee Champion, was fourth and the Nevada State champ, Leon Thompson, was fifth.  Carroll Shelby had termed the World's Championship Chili Cookoff as an "Adult Woodstock" and this year's cookoff certainly verified the tag. Al "Red Dawg" Weber and his "Custer's Last Band" had the crowd dancin' all day in between the Miss Chili Pepper, Mr Hot Sauce, Shoot n' Hollar and beer drinking contests.


3 lbs cubed (or coarsely ground) tri tip cut beef
3 oz sausage
2 tbsp kidney suet or Wesson Oil
1/2 oz salt
2 oz Gebhardt Chili Powder
1/2 oz chile powder
1/2 tsp Hot New Mexico Chili Powder
1/2 oz cumin
oregano tea
white pepper to taste
5 to 7 cloves garlic
2 med onions, chopped fine
1/2 tsp corriander (optional)
4 to 6 oz Hunts Tomato Sauce
1/2 pt beef broth, add water if necessary
1 med ortega pepper (minced)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
dash of Tabasco
oregano tea = 1 tbsp oregano leaves in 1/2 cup hot water, let steep.


Saute onions and garlic in suet about 3 minutes.

Add Gebhardts and chile powder, mix well.

Brown beef in separate pan a pound at a time, pepper while browning, add onions and spices, use a little beef broth to keep from sticking.

Saute sausage and ortega pepper together (about 2 minutes).

Add to pot and cook about 15 minutes.

Add remaining spices, Hunts tomato sauce, water or broth, mix well.

Cook about 30 minutes. Add oregano tea.

Cook about 2 hours or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally.

Last 20 to 30 minutes add salt and cayenne pepper if needed.