I had never heard of this Cincinnati Chili before reading about it in Saveur magazine and it looked interesting enough to try. It’s not like any chili I’ve ever had before… the different spices make this unique. And who ever heard of serving chili over spaghetti?
The numbered ‘ways’ refer to the toppings. Two-way is chili on spaghetti, three-way is spaghetti, chili and cheese, four-way adds onions to three-way and five-way gets topped with kidney beans. Usually there are oyster crackers sprinkled on top, but I haven’t seen them here in Toronto. Feel free to let me know if you have. Maybe Goldfish crackers would work?
I’ve never been to Cincinnati, so I don’t know how authentic this is. Reading the comments for the recipe on the Saveur website suggest that it’s close to the real thing. No matter though… it tastes great and that’s what matters.
Here we go!
Chop the garlic.
Chop the onions too.
Cook the garlic and onions in olive oil.
Get all the spices and herbs ready.
Add the ground beef and the seasonings to the garlic and onions.
Cooked ground beef, garlic and onions.
After the chili has simmered for 25 minutes, build the plate.
Start with a layer of spaghetti.
Then add some chili (two-way).
Next, a layer of kidney beans. Yes, I did this out of order, but it still tastes great (three-way).
Another layer: chopped onions (four-way).
Finally, a layer of cheese (five-way!).
The recipe is here:
2 tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 dried bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups tomato sauce
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 lb. dried spaghetti
1 15-oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed under hot water and drained
4 cups finely grated cheddar cheese
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and half of the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5–6 minutes. Add beef, chili powder, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cumin, oregano, nutmeg, celery seed, bay leaf, and salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 6–8 minutes. Tilt skillet and spoon out and discard any accumulated fat. Add tomato sauce, cocoa powder, and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, until somewhat thick, about 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8–10 minutes; drain. Put beans into a small pot and cook over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until hot throughout. Divide spaghetti between 4 large bowls. Top with chili, cheese, remaining onions, and beans. Serve hot, with oyster crackers on the side.