Cincinnati Five-Way Chili

  1. 1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef
  2. 2 medium onions, chopped
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
  5. 1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, grated
  6. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  7. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  10. 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  11. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  12. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  13. 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  14. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  15. Tomato juice, as needed
  16. 9 ounces spaghetti pasta
  17. 1 tablespoon butter
  18. 1 (16-ounce) can red kidney beans
  1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown the meat with half the chopped onions and the garlic, stirring to keep it loose. Drain any fat from the pan.
  2. Add the barbecue sauce and 1/2 cup water and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the chocolate, spices, and salt. Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. The chili will thicken as it cooks. Add tomato juice as necessary, to create a brew that ladles up easily. Allow the chili to rest at least 30 minutes in a covered pan at room temperature. (Chili can be refrigerated and reheated to serve.)
  4. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti until just tender. Drain and toss with the butter.
  5. Rinse the beans and put into a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until warm. Drain any excess liquid.
  6. To make each plate, start with a layer of spaghetti; top it with the hot chili and then a few warm beans and some of the remaining chopped onions. Add some cheese so the chili's heat can begin to melt it.

Chili Trivia:

  • Chili is the official state food of Texas
  • Cincinnati Chili was inspired by Greek and Macedonian immigrants around the turn of the 20th century
  • The intensity of heat in the taste of the Chile peppers usually decreases as the size of the pepper increases