Thursday, April 06, 2006

Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili
I was intrigued by this recipe because I had never seen spaghetti noodles topped with chili. I first heard about Cincinnati Chili when I saw a show about it on the Food Network. Apparently this dish is huge in Cincinnati, Ohio. Then, in the PBS show, Americas Test Kitchen, they made the recipe and I just had to try it. Although I followed the recipe verbatim, the one below has a few changes, but it still tasted great.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4 to 6)

  • 2 teaspoons table salt or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped fine (reserve a 1/2 cup for topping)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked, drained, and tossed with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 can red kidney beans (15-ounce), drained, rinsed, and warmed
  1. FOR THE CHILI: Bring 2 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the ground chuck, stirring vigorously to separate the meat into individual strands. As soon as the foam from the meat rises to the top (this takes about 1 minute) and before the water returns to a boil, drain the meat into a strainer and set it aside.

    par-boiled ground beef
  2. Rinse and dry the empty saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is warm, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and browned around the edges, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. Stir in the chili powder, oregano, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, allspice, black pepper, cumin and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.

    Spice mixture

    Cook, stirring constantly, until the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    Adding the spices
    Stir in the broth, water, vinegar, sugar, and tomato sauce, scraping the pan bottom to remove any browned bits.

  • Add the blanched ground beef and increase the heat to high. adding the beefAs soon as the liquid boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chili is deep red and has thickened slightly, about 1 hour. Adjust the seasonings, adding salt and hot pepper sauce to taste. (The chili can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat before serving.)
    The chili, after an hour
  • TO SERVE: Divide the buttered spaghetti among individual bowls. Spoon the chili over the spaghetti and top with the cheese, beans, and onion. Serve immediately.

    Toppings: cheddar cheese, onions and kidney beans
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