Cincinnati-Style Chili Recipe

Cincinnati-Style Chili Recipe
Contributor
Cincinnati-style Chili

Maryse Chevriere

Cincinnati-style Chili

I liken this regional style of chili to an American version of bolognese. A deeply flavorful meat-tomato sauce with a complex spice profile, served over spaghetti and topped with shredded Cheddar and chopped onions. If you're thinking, chili...on spaghetti? Really? Believe it. Even this devout Texas chili fan has been made a convert.

And as a side note, let me also just say that from my experience, there are no hard and fast rules for chili — it's a constant game of tasting and adjusting, so trust your palate. 

 

Click here to see Recipe SWAT Team: Chili.

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup beer, such as Budweiser
  • One 16-ounce can tomato sauce
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded, for garnish

Directions

In a medium pot over medium heat, sauté 2/3 cup of the onion and garlic in the oil for about 3-5 minutes, until it starts to get soft. Add the ground beef, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, and cayenne, crumbling the beef as it cooks. 

Once the beef is cooked and no longer pink, add the water, beer, tomato sauce, and tomato paste and mix together. Add the chocolate and vinegar, then simmer the mixture uncovered over medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes, until it has thickened but is still soupy.

While the chili is simmering, cook the spaghetti in a pot of boiling water, about 8 minutes, or until al dente, then drain.

When ready to serve, divide the pasta into bowls, cover with a heaping spoonful of chili, then top with shredded Cheddar cheese and a sprinkling of the remaining raw, chopped onions. 

Chili Shopping Tip

Basic Latin ingredients include chiles, rice, adobo seasoning, and beans.

Chili Cooking Tip

Latin food often packs a lot of heat, so try to moderate the amount of chiles and spices you use for your dish.

Chili Wine Pairing

Malbec, syrah/shiraz, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, primitivo, or carménère for meat-based chili; Riesling, gewürztraminer, muscat, or torrontés for vegetarian or poultry-based chili.