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Old 04-18-2007, 11:15 AM   #1
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Need Help with Cincinnati Chili

What does Cincinnat Chili taste like? I decided to try to make a pot, but I don't have any reference as to what it tasted like. I used Jeff Smith's Cooks American recipe as a base but used some parts of Joy of cooking.This what I ended up with 2 lbs ground beef 3 onions chopped 6 cloves garlic finely chopped 1 Tbs cumin seed 2 bay leaf 2 tsp cinnamon 2 tsp allspice 2 tsp Tabasco 8 whole cloves 10 pepercorns 1 1/2 tsp red chile flacks 2 Tbs worcestershire 4 Tbs vinegar 1 Tbs oregano, 1/2 can tomato paste 16 oz can tomate sauce 4 Tbs cocoa powder I boiled the hamberger, then added everything else and returned to a boil, then reduced the heat to a slow simmer covered for 1 hr, then uncover for an hr. I the cooled and place in the ice box over night. This morning I took it out, and reheated a couple spoon fulls in the microwave, it tasted muddy, addd a couple drops of lemon juice, pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg,and chili powder, reheated, that helped but agian,I don't know what I am looking for. Please give your thought on this experiment Thanks


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Old 04-18-2007, 12:55 PM   #2
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Dd you try and " Google" the recipe ? I don't care for it myself because of the cinnamon in it. Good luck I use Google daily, lol !

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Old 04-18-2007, 03:02 PM   #3
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Hi Elf, Well I live in Cincinnati and chili is an obsession in this city! I read recipes for Cincinnati chili and often find them humourous. Most are not even close. The chili is a bit watery because we put it on a bed of spagetti, add your choice of diced onions and/or red beans, lots of finely shredded mild cheddar and oyster crackers to soak up some of the juice.

The chili should have some cinnamon, cloves, allspice and cocoa in it, but not enough to overpower and say YUCK!!!

I have tried to make it many times, I often buy the Cincinnati spice pack in local grocer's. I have made it from scratch and this is the recipe that has come the closest to the original IMO. I use less cinnamon, add cloves, and brown the meat by simmering it in water to get the tender consistency that is authentic. Skyline Chili I - Allrecipes

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-18-2007, 03:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by PytnPlace
. I use less cinnamon, add cloves, and brown the meat by simmering it in water to get the tender consistency that is authentic. Skyline Chili I - Allrecipes

Hope this helps.

How can you "brown" meat by simmering it in water?
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Old 04-18-2007, 07:01 PM   #5
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Basically what I mean is you cook the meat in a little bit of simmering water (enough water to cover the meat) instead of saute. This method makes the meat very tender and fine in texture. I know it sounds weird, believe me I was skeptical the first time I tried it . . . but it works perfectly.

BTW, I've never tried the "JOY" version but I remember it sounded close - Ethan Rombauer lived in Cincinnati until moving to TN a couple years ago.
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Old 04-18-2007, 07:17 PM   #6
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Hey Elf, I work in Cincinnati and across the street from my office is a very busy Skyline chili parlor. Around here, they also sell Skyline chili in the grocery in the frozen foods section and also canned. The chili is served over a bed of spaghetti and topped with cheese (this is called a 3 way) or with cheese, beans and onions on top (a 5 way). If you want to try a can of Skyline, shoot me a PM with your address and I'll pick up a can of it at Krogers and send it your way.
I've lived in the Cincinnati area for 25 years and some people LUV Cincinnati style chili - I am indifferent to it but after I've had 3-4 drinks it always sounds wonderful.
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:21 PM   #7
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I've never had Cincinnati chili. I've only been down that way once. And they don't have it here in the Cleveland area.
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:57 AM   #8
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Cincinnati Chili is both a mutant form of chili, and a style of serving it - often more the latter than the former. While in Philidelphia the debate may rage on about the correct cheese to use in a "Phili cheese steak" sandwich, and Texans debate over the issue of including beans "in" chili vs serving chili over beans ... Cincinnati Chili is in a world of its own.

While it may be called "5-way" in Cincinnati - replace the spaghetti with elbo macaroni down here in the South and it's just "Chili Mac".
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Old 04-19-2007, 02:26 AM   #9
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When you take another look at that recipe, it calls for cinnamon and allspice. I can understand the allspice (Allspice=(a mixture of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, & juniper berry flavors) but not the additions of the spices which flavor allspice. The cocoa powder is more like a mole' than a chili. It looks like you have consulted two cookbooks and incorporated all the ingredients and used a Cincinnati chili method of cooking it all together.
The Steak 'N Shake Restaurants in IL serve what you have described as Cincinnati Chili served over spaghetti with cheese. The chili is thin but it is also very mild (what someone from Texas might consider as being Tame). ((It is like when you open a can of chili and add two cans of water....it is thin.)) Outside of their milkshakes, steak burgers, and being open 24/7, they serve a lot of chili.
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:52 AM   #10
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The first Cincinnati Chili parlor was opened by Greek Immigrants. I have lived in CIncy about 25 years as well. The first time I had Cincy chili I remember the flavors reminded me a bit of Pasticcio (sp?).

Your right Michael, it is an entity of it's own and I love it! I love Texas Chili and any chili in between as well.

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