Cincinnati-style Chili

Another non-WF recipe!  There are several recipes for chili in that book, but none of them are my mom’s.  This one is.  Texans will probably want to stop reading now.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Cincinnati-style chili is a savory, spicy affair with several unusual ingredients and an even more unusual serving style.  Growing up, I had no idea it was weird to put chocolate in chili, or to serve it over spaghetti, and I plan to raise my own son (as well as any future children) in the same state of blissful ignorance.  But on to the recipe.  I’ve been making this since I was allowed to use the stove, so assume any actual numbers below are made up.  (Except for the things coming out of cans.  Those I’m pretty sure of.)

  • 3 lbs 85% lean ground round
  • 2 med onions, chopped
  • 1 28-oz can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1 can each red and black beans, drained and rinsed
  • about 1/4 cup each ground cumin and chili powder
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped fine
  • some ground cloves, ground coriander seed, ground cinnamon, dried oregano, salt, pepper
  • a pinch cayenne pepper (opt)
  • 1 oz bittersweet baking chocolate (unsweetened is ok too)

In a large stock pot or dutch oven, brown the beef, breaking up any large chunks with a wooden spoon.  Add onion, jalapeno and all spices.  Add everything else except cilantro.  Cover and let simmer 3-4 hours.  Add the cilantro in the last 30 minutes of cooking and correct spicing.


Serve over spaghetti (YES, SPAGHETTI) topped with:

  • cheddar cheese for a three-way
  • cheddar cheese and either kidney beans OR chopped onion for a four-way
  • cheddar cheese and kidney beans and onion for a five-way


Dylan Report: He loves this stuff.  Good kid.



  1. No comments yet.
(will not be published)