A good bowl of chili relies on traditional American cooking techniques, but what exactly goes into this delicious dish varies by region. Eater notes that general consensus places Cincinnati chili as first being developed in the 1920s by Greek immigrants. Though many enthusiasts argue that Cincinnati chili is a misnomer, this Midwestern treasure has sealed itself as an American classic. This dish can be served in various ways, depending on the addition of cheese, onions, beans and garlic to preference. The specialty is mainly found in the city for which it is named and is served out of restaurants known as chili parlors. To make a simple version at home, here is a Cincinnati chili recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine.
Cincinnati chili recipe
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
- Kosher salt
- 1 6-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons chopped unsweetened chocolate
- 1 tablespoon cider or red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Freshly ground pepper
- 12 ounces cooked spaghetti
- 1 19-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 pound grated cheddar cheese
- Oyster crackers, for serving
In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, warm the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and half the chopped onions and cook for about five minutes, stirring regularly. Once softened, add your spices: paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, chili powder, cloves and cayenne. Continue stirring. Then, once the spices are fragrant, add the beef to the pot. Cook the mixture for approximately five minutes until the beef is no longer pink. Add 1 tablespoon of salt.
Once the meat is browned, add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, bay leaf and 1 1/2 cups water. Allow the mixture to thicken at a simmer, uncovered. Stir occasionally. Then add the vinegar, chocolate and Worcestershire sauce and allow the mixture to cook for about 15 minutes, until it is soupy.
Remove the bay leaf and season the chili with ground pepper to preference. Serve the chili, beans, cheddar and remaining onion over the spaghetti. Add oyster crackers to preference.