Cincinnati Chili

If you’re looking for a standard chili recipe, turn around right now. This is nothing like a normal chili, which you might have gathered already because, well, it’s served over pasta! I’ve never been to Cincinnati but hear this is fairly authentic, especially when served with extra diced onions on top. It definitely isn’t like the chili I grew up with in Texas–this is for “them crazy ole Yankees” who also put ketchup on cheeseburgers.

This is kind of a blend of spaghetti sauce and chili. It has tomato sauce, virtually no vegetables, cocoa powder, and cinnamon and is best served over pasta with a mound of cheese. Seriously–this is weird chili.

Cincinnati Chili from
Serves 8

1 Tbs vegetable oil
½ cup chopped onion
2 pounds ground beef
¼ cup chili powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 bay leaf
3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 Tbs cider vinegar
¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper

¼ cup shredded cheese (Recipe calls for cheddar, though I really like mozzarella)
Extra diced raw onions for topping

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 6 minutes. Add beef and cook until browned.

Add chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, cloves, bay leaf, chocolate, beef broth, tomato sauce, cider vinegar, and red pepper. Stir to mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

It is the best if you now refrigerate overnight.

Remove the bay leaf. Reheat gently over medium heat. Serve over hot, drained spaghetti. Top with shredded cheese and diced raw onion if you prefer.

I told you I could cook real food!

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