Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili is not your “typical” Texas-style chili. It is something completely different, originating, of course, from Cincinnati, OH. It is served over spaghetti and topped with shredded cheddar cheese, red beans and/or onions. Oyster crackers are often served with the meal. Cincinnati Chili is also used as a coney sauce, topped with shredded cheddar cheese. This can seem like quite the project, but it is never as difficult as I make it out to be before I get started. It also makes a lot of chili, so you’ll have plenty to either feed a crowd or freeze for future use.

Cincinnati Chili
3 lbs ground beef
3 cups onion, finely chopped
4 ½ cloves garlic, minced
22.5 oz tomato sauce
1 ½ cups beef broth
3 Tbsp chili powder
3 Tbsp chocolate chips
1 ½ Tbsp vinegar
3 Tbsp honey
1 ½ Tbsp pumpkin pie spice*
1 ½ tsp cumin
¾ tsp cardamom
3/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon

Boil ground beef, onions, and garlic in water. Once beef is cooked, strain meat, onions, and garlic through cheesecloth or a fine strainer. Return meat mixture to pan and add other ingredients. Heat to simmer.

Serve over spaghetti with the following toppings:
Shredded cheddar cheese (for a 3-way) plus
Red beans OR chopped onions (for a 4-way)
Red beans AND chopped onions (for a 5-way)

*Pumpkin Pie Spice (substitute, 1 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Personal Note: I usually make this with ground bison and I have even substituted one pound of ground bison for 1 cup of TVP (textured vegetable protein). I just put the TVP in the water about 10 minutes before straining the mixture through the cheesecloth.

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