Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cincinati Chili

Four ways
I have been making Cincinnati chili for about 20 years now. I have been eating it a lot longer than that. I love everything about Cincinnati chili and I miss the Cincinnati chili parlors where I would either order four ways, coneys or both. In fact, one of the first meals I made for my husband (before we were even dating) was four ways. He made fun of the dish until he tasted it and then he was hooked. I never put it together, but maybe he married me for my chili.

When I make chili, I don't think I have ever measured the ingredients (I just pour them in) but for this blog, I measured everything. Please note that Cincinnati chili is soupy (or even runny); it is not a thick stew.

My Chili Recipe

In a large stock pot, bring to a boil:

1 Quart (1 Liter) of Beef Stock
About 1 1/2 Cups (375 ml) of Water

2 Pounds (907 g) of Ground Beef (I add it piece by piece)

Stir until separated (it will separate much quicker if you add it in smallish pieces)

Reduce heat to a simmer and add:

2 Cups (382 g) of Grated Onions (I process them in the food processor; other people grate them with a grater)
4-6 Cloves of garlic minced (I sometimes add more I love garlic)
3 8 oz (227 g) cans of tomato sauce
2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce
4 Tbsp of Chili Powder (I like to use a mixture of regular chili powder and Penzey's Hot Chili Powder)
4 Tbsp of Cocoa (this is not a typo- 4 Tablespoons)
1 Tbsp of Cinnamon
2 Tsp of Cumin
2 Tsp of Season Salt
The following ground: 8 Whole Allspice, 7 Whole Cloves, and 10-12 Peppercorns
1 Teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes (we use dried peppers from our garden) or 1 1/2 teaspoons of cayenne (you can always adjust to your taste-- this is a comprise between my husband's desire for spicy and my daughter's desire for very little spice)  

The chili is soupy or even runny, not thick
Return the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours.  It is best to cool overnight to skim the fat off of the top-- but I can never wait that long. The smell of the chili cooking makes me so hungry that I end up sampling it while it cooks.

When you can wait no longer--- cook some spaghetti- place the spaghetti on a plate and cover with the chili -- add FINELY grated cheddar cheese (3 way); Finely grated cheddar cheese and chopped onions or cooked red kidney beans (4 way); Finely grated cheddar cheese, onion, and cooked red kidney beans (5 way).  If you have oyster crackers you should serve those with it and have hot sauce for those who like it a little hotter.

Coneys with lots of cheese
To make a coney- Get a hot dog bun, add a cooked hot dog, and add some mustard, chili, chopped onions, and lots of cheese.

The bottom line: Will we have this again? Yes. This is a standard meal in our house. I actually might be done tinkering with the recipe.

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