Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cincinnati Chili

     Cincinnati is famous for it's world class chili, it's residents consume more than two million pounds a year, topped by 850,000 pounds of cheddar cheese. Their uniquely flavored version is thinner than the standard chili con carne and is usually served over a plate of spaghetti.  It comes garnished with grated cheddar, chopped onions, pinto beans and oyster crackers. You need to know the lingo before ordering at a 'chili parlor'.  Two-way is chili and spaghetti, Three-way is chili, spaghetti and cheese, Four-way is served with chili, spaghetti, onions and cheese and Five-way has it all, beans included.  I have always wanted to give this a try. You may be able to find a more authentic recipe by searching online but this fairly simple version from Land O' Lakes has all the basic ingredients and is a good place to start.  
     If camping, you could easily toss your spices together in a zip lock bag before leaving home.   Brown the beef over a full spread of coals then move the bottom coals to a ring around the base of the oven.  I covered the lid with coals to bring it to a low boil then left it to cook for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.  I can see why Cincinnatians go wild over their chili, this is a definite taste sensation and not to be missed.  I envy anyone who lives within a hundred miles of any place that has this amazing combination of textures and flavors on their menu.  So put on your stretch pants and dish yourself up a mountain of this incredible chili.

Cincinnati Chili
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium (1/2 cup) onion, chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
1/2 cup water
1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon instant beef bouillon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (16-ounce) package uncooked dried spaghetti
shredded Cheddar cheese
Chopped red onion, if desired

     Lightly oil or spray a 10 or 12 inch dutch oven.
     Cook ground beef, garlic and onions over a full compliment of coals until beef has browned and onions are soft and translucent.  Drain.
     Stir in all remaining ingredients except spaghetti, cheese and red onion.  Bring to a low boil and simmer for 45 minutes until flavors are blended.
     Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Drain.
     To serve, spoon chili mixture over spaghetti.  Top each serving generously with grated cheddar cheese and onion, if desired.  Serves 4-5. 

Brown beef with onions and garlic, stir in rest of ingredients

Chili turns a deep mahogany color and smells amazing

A classic Four-way

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