Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cincinatti Chili

Growing up in Ohio, I have always been a big Cincinatti chili fan.  For those who haven't had it before, it's a beef-based chili with lots of delicious warm spices like cinnamon and cloves, and a little cocoa powder or chocolate for that je ne sais quoi element.  Then, instead of being served by itself in a bowl, it comes over spaghetti.  It's total stick-to-your-ribs comfort food, and it always makes me think of visiting my aunt, uncle, and cousins in Cincinatti.

Cincinatti Chili (recipe from my mom)
Serves 4

Olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 pound ground beef
1 T chili powder
1-1/2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
15 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
To serve: 1 pound cooked pasta and grated cheddar cheese

1. Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat, and drizzle in a little olive oil. When it's hot, add the shallots, and saute for a minute or two.  Add the ground beef and chili powder, and continue to cook, stirring often, until the beef is browned.
2. Sprinkle in the cocoa powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, red pepper flakes, and salt, and stir to combine well.
3. Add the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, and water.  Stir to combine, and then bring to a boil.  Lower the heat, and simmer for 90 minutes, uncovered.  Check on the chili occasionally and add a little water if it looks like it's getting too dry.
4. Serve the chili over cooked pasta, and top with shredded cheese.  Other traditional toppings include minced onions, beans, and oyster crackers.


  1. Mmm, that chili sounds great. I always love a good chili on a cool evening.

  2. Oh yum I love cincinatti chili yet somehow never thought to make it at home.

  3. Nothing like a little comfort food to think of home! Looks yummy!