Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cincinnati Chili at Home!

My kids love Cincinnati Chili, and ask to eat at one of the Cincinnati Chili parlors in and around Cincinnati often.

This is certainly an acquired taste for many, and is a regional food that those in our little pocket of the US love. It's even served in the kids' schools for lunch, altho they make their own and do not get it from one of the chili parlors, as I expected they would.

Anyway, it certainly isn't a health food. It is, however, a sort of comfort food around the Cincinnati regional area.

I believe in the original recipe that the beef is boiled. My daughter gets mad when I say things like "mmmmmmm, yummy yummy meat water" which is, really, what Cincinnati Chili pretty much comes out to be. I don't bother with boiling the beef. Too time consuming and, frankly, too unfamiliar. I am not concerned with getting the texture of the beef just right, but with getting the spice blend as close as possible to what we experience in the Cincinnati chili parlors. And believe me, it is a tad difficult. I've managed to piece together various recipes I've found online and elsewhere on the different occasions I've made this. I tend to wing it in this way. This time, I decided to write what I did so I can refer back to it instead of guessing and piecing various recipes together each time I make it.

If the ingredients seem odd to you for "chili", it's because they kinda are. It's still really good, in my opinion. There are many who would disagree. All I can say is, "Mmmmmmm.....yummy, yummy meat water!"

Want to learn more about Cincinnati Chili? Go HERE.

(Tidbit: Cincinnati is probably one of the only places you can ask for a 3 way and it's automatically assumed that you want CHILI).


  • 1 TBSP canola oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1.5 TBSP Chili Powder
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • More chicken broth or water if it is too thick

Garnish: (optional)

Pinto or Red Kidney Beans
Finely shredded cheddar
Diced onions
Sour Cream

In large pot, heat oil over medium heat then add onion and beef. Cook, chopping up beef as fine as you can while cooking, until beef is brown (about 10 minutes).

Add the paste, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, salt, pepper, allspice. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring all the while. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, on low for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. If it gets too thick, add more broth or water, 1/4 cup at a time.

Serve over cooked spaghetti, or over hot dogs.

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