April 24, 2009

Two Spoonfuls: Cincinnati Chili

This week I went for something that will last. Nick and I are less than a week away from moving so cooking is the last thing on my mind. I caught a few minutes of Cook's Country on TV last weekend & saw them make this recipe. It looked easy, tasty and also like it might last for a few meals. Perfect! Also, I've never made chili without browning the meat first so it was a new thing to try.

"What's is Cincinnati Chili?", you ask. Well, I did a little research and found that it's just a regional version of chili that usually doesn't have beans and includes a different blend of spices than the chili we're used to. The first big difference is cinnamon. Yes, cinnamon, and you can really taste it. This recipe has a very bold, and different, flavor to it. Here, you try it...

Cincinnati Chili
(according to Cook's Country TV)

1 Tbs Vegetable Oil
2 Onions, chopped fine (leave out a little to sprinkle on top)
1 Clove of Garlic, minced
2 Tbs tomato Paste
2 Tbs Chili Powder
1 Tbs Dried Oregano (I already packed mine, so I used cilantro)
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
3/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Allspice
2 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth (yes, chicken broth)
2 Cups Tomato Sauce
2 Tbs Cider Vinegar
2 tsp Dark Brown Sugar
1 1/2 pounds 85% Lean Ground Beef

1. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook onions until soft and browned around edges, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, 1 tsp salt, pepper and allspice and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Stir in chicken broth, tomato sauce, vinegar and sugar.

My actual Dutch Oven is already in a box somewhere, but a big stockpot works fine too. Some people even say it's the same thing.

2. Add beef and stir to break up meat. (On the TV show they broke up the meat with a potato masher, this worked really well. I used the kind with slots rather than a big open wire one.) Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chili is deep brown and slightly thickened, 15-20 minutes.

That's it! Easy, no? It is a very fragrant chili, that's for sure. The taste is totally different from our usual chili, but it's good. If I make it again though, I think I'll use a bit less cinnamon. It was a little too much for me. Otherwise it's great!

Traditionally, Cincinnati Chili is served over pasta. Apparently the locals order it like you'd order your Starbucks. We had Four-Way chili, served over pasta and topped with cheese and onions. To have Five-Way chili, add beans on top too. Yummy!


A Little About the Dutch Oven:

"A Dutch oven is a thick-walled iron (usually cast iron) cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid." - Wikipedia

-In France, and at Le Creuset, they call it a "French Oven", of course.

That's the one I have, in the middle photo (thanks Amanda!). You can use it on the cooktop and then put it in the oven. I made a roast for Christmas in mine. It's a very handy pot.

Dutch ovens have been around for a long time, the American colonists loved them. The camping version often has a wire handle and little feet to keep it off the coals. Lodge Cast Iron has been going strong since 1896.


For this recipe, technically, I didn't use a Dutch oven and I think it worked out fine. If you'd like to see more from Cook's Country TV, pop over and see the website. You need to register to download recipes, but it's free.

Now, I want to see what Jenn's doing. I think she may be using a Dutch oven this week too.


Jenn Maruska said...

Ummmmmm. I bet that was good. I've had the real thing and the only difference I can see is that they put about 20x the cheese on theirs! For real!

Yours looks a bit healthier. ; )

Junie Moon said...

I've never heard of Cincinnati Chili before but will have to give it a try as my husband doesn't like beans in chili. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Nutsy Coco said...

Very yummy! I made it for dinner tonight.