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Cincinnati Chili

We made Cincinnati Chili for dinner last night. This was our second attempt, and this one’s a keeper (with maybe some additional tomato paste and salt). I like mine five ways – or is it six ways – maybe the Cincinnati folks consider oyster crackers to be sacrilegious. We’ve never had it anywhere near Cincinnati, but we watched an episode of the Cook’s Country tv show once where they made it and decided to give it a try.

Cincinnati Chili (adapted from Cook’s Country)
serves 5 or 6

2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped fine, some set aside for garnish
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs chili powder
2 Tbs dried oregano
2 tsp cocoa powder
2 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups tomato sauce
2 Tbs cider vinegar
2 tsp corn starch
2 tsp dark brown sugar
1.5 lbs 85% lean ground beef
1 lb spaghetti (if desired)
½ lb mild cheddar, grated, for garnish
1 can dark red kidney beans for garnish
Oyster crackers for garnish

1. Boil water for spaghetti (if desired).
2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook most of the onions (leave some set aside for topping) until soft and browned around the edges, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, allspice, and ground black pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Dissolve the corn starch in the chicken broth and stir into onion and spices along with, tomato sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
3. Add raw beef and stir to break up meat. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until chili is deep brown and slightly thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Cook spaghetti according to package directions (if desired). Season chili with additional salt if needed.
5. Serve, and garnish with oyster crackers as desired.
a. One way: alone
b. Two ways: over spaghetti
c. Three ways: over spaghetti with cheddar
d. Four ways: over spaghetti with onions and cheddar
e. Five ways: over spaghetti with onions, cheddar, and kidney beans

This was very filling, and I’m really looking forward to the leftovers.

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