Cincinnati Chili

by April Reinhardt
(last updated May 25, 2016)

My father introduced me to Cincinnati-style chili when I was a pre-teen by taking me to the Camp Washington Chili Parlor in Camp Washington on Colerain Avenue. Dad ordered a 3-way for me that day, with a phony coney, and I've been hooked ever since. The chili parlor is still slinging chili, 24-hours a day, six days a week, and has been since 1940. Try this recipe and you'll come very close to experiencing the greatest Cincinnati chili ever made. The key is the combination of spices with chocolate. And if you're wondering what a phony coney is, it's a short hot dog bun without the hot dog, topped with chili, raw onions, and cheese. Now THAT'S good eatin'!

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of ground beef
  • 4 squares of unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 4 14-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 onions
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of chopped celery
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 3 teaspoons each of dried basil, oregano, and thyme
  • 1 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, ground cumin, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes

Directions

Use a large stockpot or crock pot to simmer the chili. This recipe makes about 12 servings, depending on whether you have a 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, or 5-way chili. Peel the onion, chop it on a cutting board, and scrape it into a large skillet. Wash and clean the celery, chop it, and add it to the skillet with the onion. Break the ground beef into the skillet and cook over medium heat until brown and then drain the fat by dumping the mixture into a colander, and then dump it into your stockpot or crock pot.

Use your hands or a potato masher to break the ground beef down to the smallest pieces possible (to the consistency of hot-dog chili). Open the canned foods and add to the pot, un-drained, and turn the heat to simmer. Add all of the rest of the ingredients to the pot, except for the chocolate and garlic. Melt the chocolate in your microwave oven and add to the pot, and then peel, break, and mince the garlic and add it to the pot. Stir the chili thoroughly. Increase the temperature to medium-low if using your stovetop, and to medium if using a crock pot. Cover and cook for at least seven hours, stirring occasionally.

After seven hours of cooking, increase the temperature to high on your crock pot, or medium-high on your stovetop, uncover, and cook for one hour, stirring quite often. To serve a 1-way, use just the chili. A 2-way is chili over spaghetti. A 3-way is chili over spaghetti with your choice of red kidney beans, onions, or shredded cheddar cheese. A 4-way is chili over spaghetti with red kidney beans, topped with raw chopped onions. And a 5-way is all of those things, topped with shredded cheddar cheese.

Don't forget to serve up a phony coney, too! Use 12-inch hot dog buns, cut in half, wrapped in a damp paper towel and steamed in the microwave for 20 seconds, and then fill with chili, raw onions, and a mound of shredded cheddar cheese.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Cleaning Old Photographs

When working with old photographs it is best to try to determine the method by which they were processed before you attempt ...

Discover More

Choosing a Potting Soil

Knowing the difference between potting mix and potting soil will help you better determine which mix to use for the plants ...

Discover More

Turkey Breast with Green Bean Casserole and Noodles Alfredo

While you could garnish this meal with a can of cranberry sauce, forego the temptation to make a copycat Thanksgiving dinner. ...

Discover More
More Cooking Tips

Pasta Storage

Pasta is a staple item of many diets throughout the world. Not only that, it is an important ingredient for many of the most ...

Discover More

Delicious Spaghetti Sauce

You can get spaghetti just about anywhere, but nothing is quite so good as homemade spaghetti. Here's a recipe for homemade ...

Discover More

Spaghetti Pie

Italian food is always a family favorite. This recipe adds a twist to traditional spaghetti and meatballs.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)