Cincinnati-Style Chili

Alex and I like chili. I currently have about four chili recipes I rotate. I will be posting three. One of them is my family’s secret recipe. It’s never been written down (that I’m aware of) and I have a sneaky sort of feeling that we all make it a little different, add our own personal touch. Because while it’s basically the same, it always tasted just a tad different. But this one, this one I can share.

ground beef
chopped onions
tomato juice
tomato sauce
light red kidney beans
cheddar cheese

Spice Blend:
chili powder
garlic powder

1. Brown the ground beef and the onions together in the same pot you’re making the chili in. Do not drain the fat.
2. Add all the other ingredients aside from the cheese and spice blend. Mix very well.
3. Stir in the spice blend a bit at a time to make sure it is evenly distributed. This is important.
4. Simmer on about 2-3 for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn.
5. Put in bowls, top with cheese and serve.

I will give you one family secret which probably isn’t a secret but it’s something we do so whatever, it’s a family secret and I’m telling you. And my great-great grandmother is going to find and haunt me forever now. About five-ten minutes before you serve the chili, put the heat up to medium, or 5. It’s does something to the flavor. Or maybe we’re all crazy. But don’t tell great-great grandmother whoever that, she won’t like it.

You can also top with raw chopped onions in addition to the cheese. Alex likes to do that.

I generally make a spaghetti squash to go with it. We like having noodley goodness in our chili, but can’t eat noodles, so spaghetti squash it is.

Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, place the halves cut-side down on a foiled cookie sheet, and pop it into a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, depending on how big your squash is. You’ll know it’s done when you can pull out ‘spaghettis’ with a fork.


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