Monday, January 11, 2010

wish i had time for just one more bowl of chili

this past weekend we took an extra long way home - instead of going home on friday evening (to cozy up on a warm couch, with a warm blanket, and a warm cup of soup) we made the trek all the way to cincinnati. (the trip was also a spelling lesson (two n's one t), as i frequently destroy the city's name, and thus abbreviate to cincy.)

in honor of this 20 hour driving detour (10 there, 10 back), we thought it would be nice to share with you a skyline chili recipe - also known as cincinnati chili.

the only way we would agree to drive all the way to cincy in winter with one headlight out and guranteed to hit snow was for the promise of skyline chili.

now, having gone to college in ohio, it seems blasphemous that several years out of college, we still had not had a skyline chili experience. it was, therefore, of the utmost importance to have one of the city's most famous dishes.

unfortunately, we missed the skyline chili restaurant on the backside of the hotel, and had to settle for burgers for dinner (nothing to write home about, so we'll keep going). in the morning, we looked out the window and saw it. and we were sad.

so in honor of missing this famous chili, we will share with you the famous recipe!


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate
2 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablepsoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 6 minutes.
2. add beef, in batches if necessary, and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned
3. add chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, cloves, bay leaf, chocolate, beef broth, tomato sauce, cider vinegar, and red pepper. stir to mix well. bring to a boil. reduce heat to low. cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. refrigerate overnight.
5. remove bay leaf. reheat gently over medium heat. serve over hot, drained spaghetti. top with shredded cheddar cheese.

tips and tricks:
1. absolutely make this, with the knowledge, of course, that you pretty much forgo the traditional expectation of a dish that is hotter than the fires of hell (which is actually how we all prefer our chili at the long way home).
2. i've been told that the consistency of traditional cincy chili is more like a sauce. the meat isn't chunky at all, and there shouldn't be any chunks of anything anywhere in the dish. i'm not sure how else to explain it, other than what i've been told, since i've never had it. the only chunky part is if you have it the 5 way, which leads us to our next tip/trick....
3. try it the classic 5 way: spaghetti with chili on top, topped with shredded cheddar, with diced onions and red beans.

we're thinking we need a nice big, warm bowl of cincy chili tonight to get rid of the bone cold chill from the little detour we've made this past weekend.

let us know if you've made it and if you've tried anything a little different in the recipe!

(if you don't want to make it, you can order it right here!)

*quote, kit carson

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