one unique dish my mom makes is called cincinnati chili. its sweet undertones and versatile ways of serving always made this a family favorite growing up. i’ll admit it looks strange, but don’t be afraid to try it! its very good, and is arguably even better the second day!
cincinnati chili was first served in Cincinnati in 1922. it is traditionally served on a bed of spaghetti to which other ingredients are piled on top depending on your favorites: cheese, onions, beans and oyster crackers. it is set apart from other chilis with the use of chocolate, cinnamon, cloves and allspice.
don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you – it is still an easy recipe and so worth trying.
there are hundreds of versions – this is my mom’s (Susie’s). here’s what makes it different:
the ground chuck is boiled and drained. the onions and garlic for the chili mixture should be sauteed.
always include cinnamon, chocolate, cloves and allspice even if you choose to not use other ingredients. my mom uses molasses as well as 2 different kinds of Williams chili seasoning to give a rich, full flavor. so good!
below shows 4 different ways to eat this meal (with beans, beans and cheese, beans cheese and onions, or the big shebang with crackers on top). you could also do just the chili and pasta (if you’re boring) :) this recipe does not taste as good without the pasta. something about these two elements make the perfect odd-couple! try it different ways and see what you like best. (i say pile it high!)
P.S. – this is even better the next day…and remember…the chili and spaghetti freeze well for easy use later on.
yum…i’m off to eat leftovers!!
Cincinnati Chili was first served in Cincinnati in 1922. It is traditionally served on a bed of spaghetti to which other ingredients are piled on top depending on your favorites: cheese, onions, beans and oyster crackers. It is set apart from other chilis with the use of chocolate, cinnamon, cloves and allspice.
- 1 lb. Spaghetti - cooked and drained
- 2-4 c. Shredded Cheese (your favorite Cheddar or Cheddar blend)
- 1-2 cans beans (black or red are our favorites)
- 1 onion - diced (NOT sauteed)
- 1 pkg. Oyster Crackers (or your favorites)
- 3 lbs. ground chuck - boiled and drained
- 1 qt. water
- 6 oz. tomato paste
- 1 1/2 c. diced onions - sauteed
- 1 t. diced garlic - sauteed with the onion the last minute of sauteing
- 1 1/2 T. cider vinegar
- 1 t. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 t. ground cloves
- 1/4 t. cayenne or red pepper flakes
- 1 t. chili powder
- 1/2 pkg. Williams Chicken Chili Seasoning
- 1/2 pkg Williams Chili Seasoning
- 1 T. sugar - dissolved in 1/4 c. hot water
- 3 t. cinnamon
- 1 t. allspice
- 2 T unsweetened cocoa or 1 oz. square unsweetened chocolate
- 1 T molasses
- Add all the chili ingredients in a large stove-top pan.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer at least 2 hours. (add a little water if it starts to thicken too much)
- Serve on a bed of spaghetti and top with cheese, beans, onion and crackers (or a combo of your faves).