|My homemade beef and bean stovetop chili, served "Cinncinnati Style" on a bed of spaghetti noodles and topped with cheese. If you've turned your nose up at this and never tried it, you must try it at least once. I got hooked first bite.|
Oh Chili Spaghetti, Chili Spaghetti (or is it Spaghetti Chili?), where oh where have you been all of my life? ♥
I'm gonna tell y'all straight up front before y'all get all over me, that yes, this is a dish stolen straight away from above the Mason-Dixon line. Yep, sure is. Well, at least the way it's served is. But, it is not, nor is it intended to be, cast as anything close to being an authentic "Cincinnati Chili." It's still my chili, made my way, but... the manner of serving it over spaghetti noodles, with cheese, and often a variety of other things like raw onion and raw garlic, is apparently a classic Ohio dish - or more specifically, Cincinnati Chili or Skyline Chili. Now. That said... in order to earn one of those names, it's also got to be a specific type of chili, of which I really know nothing about, which is why I am just calling my version plain ole Chili Spaghetti, served Cincinnati "style."
I first learned about Skyline Chili from a friend of mine Brandi, who lives in, well, where else, but Ohio? She literally had to explain to me what this thing called Skyline Chili was! I had never heard of eating chili on pasta before - and while I was intrigued, chili on spaghetti is just not something that we do down south. Thanks Brandi. I have no idea why I waited so long to try this, because first bite, I was sold.
When I placed this platter of goodness in front of The Cajun and he observed that the chili he knew I was making, and the chili he was expecting, was being served to him on a plate of spaghetti noodles and piled with cheese, I noted the skepticism in his voice as he questioned my sanity! I smirked and waited for that next comment, which came I might add, after consuming nearly the entire dish... "this is really delicious!" 'Nuff said.
Now, from what I understand, Cincinnati Chili or Skyline Chili, uses things like cocoa and allspice and no chili powder, but I'm not ready to move in that direction with my chili just yet, so I just used my basic chili with beans and the spices and seasonings I usually use. I do use a little bit of cinnamon but that's is about as adventurous as I'm willing to go with mine! By the way, don't feel overwhelmed at the ingredient list. Remember, this is a homemade chili and that's all chili seasonings - or flavor - that you would usually find in a packet, only we're making it fresh! And my apologies to Texas for the tomatoes and beans - I do know how y'all feel about those in your chili.
I also used the new McCormick brand roasted cumin and roasted cinnamon that came in our BlogHer Food swag bag we got at the closing party. It was a very nice addition and perfect for chili. Check them out sometime!
Recipe: Chili Spaghetti with Homemade Beef Chili with Beans©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 20 min |Cook time: 1 hour | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 2 tablespoons of sliced jalapeno peppers, chopped
- 2 pounds ground chuck
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), optional
- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon of Kitchen Bouquet
- 1 teaspoon of hot sauce
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 can of Rotel tomatoes or regular diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 cups beef stock or broth
- 2 medium bay leaves
- 2 cans of pinto or light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Cooked thin spaghetti noodles
- Finely shredded cheddar cheese
Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapenos; saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook for about 10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Drain off excess fat.
Mix together the cumin, oregano, chili powder, cinnamon, Cajun seasoning, and sugar; add to the beef and continue to cook about 5 minutes longer.
Mix together the Worcestershire, Kitchen Bouquet, hot sauce and tomato sauce; add to beef mixture, cooking for about 4 minutes longer. Add the diced tomatoes, beef stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 40 minutes or until liquid is significantly reduced. Add the rinsed and drained beans, season with salt and pepper and continue cooking on a low simmer, about 20 minutes longer. Stir, taste and adjust as needed.
To each serving plate or bowl, add a layer of cooked spaghetti noodles, top with the chili, and sprinkle with finely shredded cheddar cheese.
Cook's Notes: Omit the beans if you like. Can also substitute 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound of Italian sausage or Mexican chorizo sausage, if desired. Can also use ground turkey.
Other serving suggestions: Serve chili alone, with grated cheese, or a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of sliced green onion, raw yellow or sweet chopped onion, raw chopped garlic, or other toppings as desired. Also good served over hot, cooked rice or cornbread.
Tip: Did you know that my layered nachos recipe is a great way to use leftover chili?
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©Deep South Dish
For Cincinnati Style Chili
Omit the sweet and hot peppers. Omit the beans from the sauce but include them as a garnish on top (drain and rinse), if prepared as "five way." Omit the oil for browning the ground beef and boil it in 4 cups of water until cooked through. Add all of the remaining seasonings down to bay leaf and as indicated below; bring to a boil and let simmer for 2 to 2-1/2 hour or until reduced and thickened. Refrigerate overnight and scoop off the top layer of fat before reheating. Alternatively, boil the beef without the seasonings and then drain well before proceeding with the recipe.
For seasoning: Add or adjust the following ingredients in the chili, using "to taste" for those indicated as "up to." Up to 2 tablespoons of paprika, up to 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, up to 2 teaspoons of ground cumin, 10 peppercorns, ground, 8 whole allspice berries, ground, 8 whole cloves, ground, 1/2 ounce of unsweetened chocolate, grated, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Leave the Cajun seasoning or substitute with plain cayenne. Many recipes suggest up to 1/4 cup of chili powder, others say there is no chili powder. You decide. To serve Cincinnati chili - "two way" is simply chili and spaghetti; "three way" adds cheese; "four way" adds chopped, raw onion and "five way" adds beans on top. Serve with oyster crackers and hot sauce at the table. It may not be completely authentic, but it'll get you a little closer than mine.
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