On these cold and dreary winter days, everyone has their favorite “comfort food” that warms them up and gives them a feeling of security. Some like soup, some like spaghetti, some like pizza. It’s a long list! To me, one of the most comforting and satisfying meals is chili. A number of years ago, I came across a wonderful chili recipe that combines the best of two “comfort food” worlds, which are chili and spaghetti! Let’s have a look at “Cincinnati Chili.”
This is sometimes called “Cincinnati Skyline Chili”, because you start with a plate of cooked spaghetti, top with with the chili, then red beans, then onions, then grated cheese. It’s all piled on a plate, and if you serve it with garlic bread and a salad, you’re in “comfort heaven”! This is served in various restaurants in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and is absolutely wonderful.
Here’s a recipe for the chili and it does require some advance preparation. This is actually a benefit to the chili, since you’ll be able to skim off the fat from the top of it, since it’s chilled. I find that this improves its flavor. Notice also that it has some interesting spices, including cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and even chocolate! Surprisingly, the chocolate adds body to the chili yet the taste of the chocolate is very mild.
Of course, you can serve the chili in a bowl with crackers on the side, but give this recipe a try in the style of Cincinnati: start with cooked spaghetti, the chili on top of that, followed by cooked red beans, chopped onions, and grated sharp cheese. And if you’ve made enough spaghetti, along with a hot bread and a salad, nobody will want dessert!
- 1 Qt. Water
- 2 Lbs. Ground Beef
- 2 Medium Onions, chopped fine
- 2 8 oz. Cans Tomato Sauce
- 5 Whole Allspice
- 1/2 Tsp. Red Pepper
- 1 Tsp. Ground Cumin Seed
- 4 Tbls. Chili Powder
- 1/2 Oz. Unsweetened Chocolate
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tbls. Vinegar
- 1 Large Bay Leaf
- 5 Whole Cloves
- 2 Tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 1-1/2 Tsp. Salt
- 1 Tsp. Cinnamon
Add ground beef to the water in a 4 quart pot; stir until beef separates into a fine texture; boil slowly for 30 minutes; add all the other ingredients; stir to blend and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 3 hours; the last hour, pot may be covered after desired consistency is reached; let cool and refrigerate overnight so that the fat from the surface can be removed before reheating; the next day, reheat until hot and serve over cooked spaghetti; to be authentic, top with cooked red beans, chopped onions, and grated sharp cheddar cheese. Yield: about 8 servings.