Friday, April 2, 2010

Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati chili has some of the most common chili ingredients including ground beef and tomato sauce, but what makes it so unique is an uncommon blend of spices creating a truly inspired dish. Even more interesting is the chili is served in the most uncommon fashion....over spaghetti noodles, and topped with whatever your heart desires.
This recipe was given to me by my husband's uncle who tells me this is one of the original chili recipes coming out of Cincinnati. Whether or not that's true is any ones guess but what I do know is this is a long time Finlinson family favorite and hopefully it will become one of yours as well. So enjoy!

I know this list of ingredients seems long and can look a little intimidating but the items this recipe calls for are common household ingredients. I strongly urge you to give this one a try, you will be pleasantly surprised.

2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 lbs ground beef (get the 15% fat, the lean meat will turn out dry)
2 tablespoons oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 cups tomato sauce
hot pepper sauce to taste

Bring 2 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large pot. Add ground beef, stirring vigorously to separate meat into individual strands. As soon as the foam from the meat rises to the top and before the water returns to a boil, drain the meat into a strainer and set aside.
Using the same pot used to cook the meat. Set pot over medium heat and add the oil and onion. Cook stirring frequently until the onions are browned around the edges. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly about 1 minute (be careful not to burn the garlic).
Stir in the chili powder, oregano, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, allspice, black pepper and 1 teaspoon salt stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Now add broth, water, sugar, vinegar and tomato sauce, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits.
Add the blanched ground beef back to the pot and increase heat to high. Upon the liquid boiling reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.
Adjust the seasonings adding salt and hot pepper sauce to taste. Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles and top with desired toppings.

*you may want all or just a few of the toppings listed below. I recommend adding at least cheese and sour cream.

Recommended toppings:

kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
shredded cheddar cheese
diced tomatoes
sour cream
chopped onion
green pepper, diced
Jalapeno peppers