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STS Cookin': Cincinnati Chili

STS Cookin' returns this week with another chili recipe. Before we've looked at a Cajun version as well as one with chunks of beef. Today we go up north for Cincinnati chili. The big characteristics of this one are a use of spices like cinnamon, allspice, and cocoa powder. It is also closer in consistency to spaghetti sauce than normal chili and as a result it is served over pasta. This recipe comes from the America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook and is a great recipe to start with.

Cincinnati chili can also be served with cheese, onions, and beans on top leading to different names. The name tells you what the toppings are. A bowl is just the chili, two-way is the chili and pasta, three-way adds cheese on top, four-way throws some onions on, and five-way adds beans for kicks.


2 tsp Salt

1.5 lbs. Ground Beef

2 tbsp. Vegetable Oil

2 mediom Onions, minced

2 medium Garlic Gloves, minced

2 tbsp. Chili Powder

2 tsp. Dried Oregano

2 tsp. Cocoa Powder

1 1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp. Ground Allspice

1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

2 cups Tomato Sauce

2 cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth

2 cups Water

2 tbsp. Cider Vinegar

2 tsp. Dark Brown Sugar

Hot sauce


1. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in a saucepan with 1 tsp. of salt. Once boiling drop the uncooked beef in and stir vigorously until separated into strands.

2. Wait for the foam from the meat to rise to the top and remove the pot and drain thew water just before it reaches the boiling point.


3. Rinse and dry the empty sauce pan. Add the vegetable oil and heat on medium. When the oil is up to temperature add the onions. Cook until soft and slightly brown, about 8 minutes.

4. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in the chili powder, oregano, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, allspice, black pepper, and remaining teaspoon of salt. Stir to mix with the onions and garlic and cook for 30 seconds.


5. Add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, water, vinegar, and sugar. Stir and scrape the bottom of the bot to mix everything.

6. Add the ground beef and then increase heat to high. Once the mixture boils reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about an hour. The chili should turn a deep red and thicken slightly. Add salt and hot sauce to taste.


7. Serve over pasta with cheese, onions, and beans as desired.