Originally posted by Michael Stern
Originally posted by Ashphalt
This may have been covered in the past, but can anyone who knows Cincinnati chili recommend a reasonable recipe? I recall that some time ago Gourmet did one that looked interesting, but it was quite invovled and made a large quantity for something we might eat once and decide we don't like. Probably what you need to do to make it properly, but does anyone have a favorite home version?
From Chili Nation
Cincinnati is a city bewitched by chili; there are at least a hundred joints in town that make a specialty of it. And we do mean joints, for chili, Cincinnati-style, tends to be one rude plate of food, best eaten off a Formica counter under humming fluorescent lights after midnight in the company of other devout chiliheads.
Bearing no resemblance to any Southwestern-style “bowl of red,” it is called five-way because there are five separate layers in its full configuration. On a thick oval plate that has enough inward slope so ingredients list towards the center, a base is created from a heap of glistening limp spaghetti noodles; they in turn are topped by a deliriously spiced sauce of finely-ground beef, then beans, then raw onions, and finally a fluffy crown of cheddar cheese. Oyster crackers are the traditional garnish, and the proper companion beverage is a milk shake or sweet soda pop.
NO Cincinnati chili chef gives out his recipe, but we did manage to secure one by sending away a dollar to a lady over the border in Kentucky, who advertised in the back of a Midwest housewife’s magazine that she knew how to make the real thing. With some minor adjustments, it worked for us, and closely approximates some of the city’s best brews. Feel free to fiddle and fuss to your own taste, and if you are missing cardamom or coriander, substitute something else. Five-way practically demands that you reinvent the recipe and make it your own.
1 pound ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup thick barbecue sauce
½ cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ ounce unsweetened chocolate, grated
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon salt
tomato juice, as needed
9 ounces spaghetti, cooked and lightly buttered
1 16-ounce can kidney beans, heated and drained
1 pound Cheddar cheese, finely shredded
oyster crackers as garnish.
Brown the meat with half the chopped onion and garlic, stirring to keep it loose. (Set the remaining onion aside to top the chili when it’s done.) Drain any fat from the pan. Add barbecue sauce and water and bring the pan to a boil. Add the spices. Cover the pan and lower the heat. Simmer thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. The chili will thicken as it cooks. Add tomato juice as necessary to create a brew that ladles up easily. Allow the chili to "rest" at least thirty minutes in a covered pan at room temperature. (Chili can be refrigerated and reheated to serve.)
To make each plate, put a layer of spaghetti down, top it with hot chili, then a few beans, then the reserved chopped onions to taste. Pat on the cheese so the chili’s heat can begin to melt it. Serve immediately with oyster crackers.