Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili

What a day. What a cold, gray, rainy day. There's even a chance of sleet in the forecast. On days like this I don't feel like getting out of bed, much less getting out of the house to go to work. Too bad, Mr. Reality says. Life goes on - work continues - regardless of the weather outside. There is no such thing as a snow day in the newspaper business. So I trudge on.

What's the weather like where you live? If it's still wintry there you should take my advice. Make a dish that's spicy, warm and filling. Make chili. Make your tummy happy. Spring will be here before you know it, and with it will come all things green. Right now, however, go with the flow of things. It's cold outside? Eat warm things.

Eat chili! Cincinnati chili, to be exact. It's my favorite kind. (That's not a surprise considering I'm not much of a fan of beans.) This chili has some of my favorite things in it: chocolate, cheese and pasta. How could you go wrong?

I suppose you could say I like mine three-way (four-way would be with beans or onions and five-way has beans and onions, as commenters have noted, so I'd stay away from that kind!) Any Ohioans out there? How do you like yours? And what's your favorite kind? Skyline? Gold Star? I used to babysit two kids whose parents were from Cincinnati, and they ate this chili at least once a week. Their house always smelled so good - theirs was made in the slow cooker (here's looking at you, Kara!) I'm so glad they introduced me to this meal. It's one of our favorite meals around here now, too.

It's cold. Eat chili. Be happy.

Cincinnati Chili
Adapted from AllRecipes
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Ingredients
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
1/2 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate
2 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions
1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about six minutes. 2. Add beef, breaking up large pieces, and cook until no longer pink.
3. Add chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, cloves, chocolate, beef broth, tomato sauce and vinegar. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally. (For better flavor, cool and refrigerate overnight.)
4. Serve over spaghetti, and top with cheese.