Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Two for Tuesday: Cincinnati Chili


And it's even spelled correctly this time!

Those of you not native to Cincinnati might not appreciate the glory that is Cincinnati style chili. But you will, my child, oh yes, you will.

This recipe, in its original form, was given to the Jedi by a good college friend, Mensley. Through the years, the Jedi has adapted it somewhat. For instance, in its original version, it called for finely grated onion, which in our pre-food processor years was a teary eyed nuisance. Onion powder was thus substituted. Likewise, garlic powder was substituted for the fresh garlic cloves. I'm not sure why, but I think just for convenience sake.

This is the current Jedi version of Cincinnati Chili. 

  • 1 to 1 and 1/2 quart water
  •  2 lb ground beef
  •  2 cup tomato sauce (we use LaRosa's spaghetti sauce)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  •  1/4 tsp allspice
  •  1 tsp ground cumin
  •  5 tbsp chili powder
  •  2 tbsp cocoa powder
  •  4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  •  1 tsp cinnamon
  •  2 beef bullion cubes
  •  1 tsp black pepper
  •  1/8 tsp garlic powder
  •  2 tbsp vinegar
  •  1/2 tsp cloves
  1. Stir raw beef into cool water, very fine.
  2.  Bring to boil and wait 30 minutes stirring occasionally. 
  3. Meanwhile, combine tomato sauce and spices in small bowl. Add to beef. 
  4. Stir and boil. Turn down heat and simmer slowly, uncovered, for 3 hours.
  5. Let sit for at least 1 hour after cooking.
  6. The Jedi says, "best results if refrigerated overnight." Mrs. Random says, "chow time, baby!"
  7. Serve over cooked spaghetti and top with finely shredded cheddar cheese OR serve over hot dogs in a bun and top with shredded cheddar cheese. Additional diced onions in both instances are optional. 
Other notes:
  • This does not work well with ground beef that has been frozen.I don't know why. The beef just clumps together in the water and the result is not the fine, smooth texture of Cincinnati chili. Fresh ground beef of 93/7 blend works best.
  • We use LaRosa's spaghetti sauce because it's smooth enough that Toa of Boy can eat it without having an allergic reaction AND because LaRosa's sauce is already delicious. It make sense to start with something already delicious, right? (The Italian flavorings do not throw off the chili seasonings in the least.)
  • This makes for spicier, more flavorful chili than one gets at the famous Cincinnati chili chains.
  • I almost always make a double batch. The extra lives in the fridge for a long time to become lunches, snacks, and dinners in a pinch. I also love to make this for company.
  • Lastly, I always start with more water than the original 1 quart the Jedi uses. I just can't get the ground beef stirred into a single quart.
 And for my second food item on this Two for Tuesday post, behold the beauty----

I can't give you the recipe. You just have to have a friend as awesome as Christopher Robin to get something that good. Fortunately, I have that awesome friend, and this was her contribution to our chili dinner on Saturday.

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