Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cincinatti Five-Way Chili

In honor of it being:

a) finally cold outside

b) Kitchen Day at our house (per the Large Family Logistics Plan)

c) a dish my family has been asking for,

I am posting my recipe for Cincinati Five-Way Chili. My Mother-In-Law came home from a work trip with this recipe about 12 years ago. While in Cincinati, she and friends found that the city was famous for this dish. Cincyusa.com estimates that there are 140 chili restaurants in the city, and around 70 of them are owned by the same extended Greek family. This is not the Texas version of chili con carne...this recipe was created by Athanas Kiradjieff, a Macedonian, and tastes Greek. It is served like this:

One Way: chili in a bowl with oyster crackers on the side.

Two Way: chili on a bed of spaghetti.

Three Way: chili on spaghetti with grated cheddar cheese on top.

Four Way: onions underneath cheese on top of  chili over spaghetti.

Five Way: spaghetti, chili, onions, kidney beans and grated cheese.

Cincinnati Chili


1 Quart water

1 pound ground beef (double ground or run through blender quickly)

2 medium onions grated in blender

4 garlic cloves

2 Tablespoons white vinegar

16 oz. tomato sauce

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes*

2 teaspoons Worcestershire

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 ½ teaspoons salt (omit if using cheap chili powder)

4 Tablespoons chili powder*

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ ounce Unsweetened Chocolate

In a Bouquet Garni:

1 large Bay leaf

5 whole allspice

5 whole cloves


Cook over medium to low heat until consistency is like spaghetti sauce. *You may want to go easy on the chili powder and red pepper flakes until you (especially the children) have tried it first. I can't remember how many serving this is, but I multiply it by ten making six meals for us, if that helps.

You can pick and choose which toppings to add, but most prefer not to have it just plain chili in a bowl, as it is very spicy (not hot, just rich). Some folks like to serve sour cream with it as well.

I'm anxious to see how you like it! Happy Autumn!

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