Saturday, February 6, 2010

My take on Cincinnati Chili

Chocolate in chili....are you kidding??
Ok, so we are snowed in today and I have so many other things that I could be doing, but I thought it would be a lot more fun to make Cincinnati style chili rather than try to work on my project of downsizing our house since I really have no place to put the junk that we pitch even if it does seem like an ideal day. I always make this for the Super youngest son Josh just expects it to be on the table! I have eaten it in Ohio several times and it seems to have a lot of interpretations....this is a variation of a recipe that I found on the Food Network that I have tweaked a little more to suit our tastes here at home. Yeah, if you are from Cincinnati, Ohio, this one may not be your thing, but to me recipes are only meant to be a guide....I love to be adventurous and make recipes my own!
This is spice intensive....I usually buy my spices at either Trader Joe's or Whole Foods....SOOOOOO much cheaper! Have fun!

* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 2 onions, chopped
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 tablespoons chili powder
* 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 2 pounds ground chuck
* Kosher salt
* 1 1/2 cup tomato juice
* 1 cup diced tomatoes
* 1 bay leaf
* 2 full cubes of unsweetened baking chocolate
* 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* 4 tablespoons brown sugar
* Freshly ground pepper
* 12 ounces cooked spaghetti
* 1 19-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 pound grated cheddar cheese


Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add half the chopped onions and the garlic and cook until soft, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, allspice, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, a few turns of pepper and cloves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the beef and cook the mixture, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt.

Add the tomato juice, diced tomatoes, bay leaf, chocolate, vinegar and Worcestershire and cook until the mixture is thickened but still soupy. I allow this to simmer for about 45 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf and add the drained and washed kidney beans. Serve on top spaghetti with cheddar cheese. We usually put sour cream on as well. Not the traditional with the oyster crackers and raw onions, but it's well loved in our house!

Very ingredient intensive

Getting ready to cook!

Cooking the onions!

Getting ready to mince the garlic

Garlic minced

Cooking the onions and garlic until somewhat tender

Adding all the spices!

I bought a mortar and pestal so that I could buy whole spices. That way I only need one kind and I can crush the spice for the amount I need. In this case, it's cloves. I didn't need much to make 1/4 of a teaspoon! You can also use a coffee bean grinder which works just as well.

My cloves after just smacking them a little.

Throwing the myriad of spices in!

Adding the ground chuck

Breaking it up in the pot

Meat is done, getting ready for the tomatoes

A can of diced tomatoes and about 1 1/2 cups of tomato juice

Adding the tomatoes to the mixture

Adding the chocolate(!) bay leaf, vinegar and worcestershire

Finished pot before adding the beans....yum!