The one and only Cincinnati Chili!
Cincinnati chili is also known as Coney Chili and Greek Chili. Cincinnati Chili is like no other chili. Cincinnati Chili is one of the most popular chili recipes of them all. There is no chili powder or hot chili peppers in Cincinnati Chili! The flavor is completely different than southwest chili or Texas chili.
The Cincinnati chili recipe has its origins in Greece, Armenia and Macedonia. There are many meat recipes that are made in those countries that share the same spices that are used to make Cincinnati Chili. The original recipe for Cincinnati Chili was created by an American immigrant from Greece. It took several years for him to perfect this chili recipe. If you have not been to the restaurant in Cincinnati where this chili was first created, then the chances are, that you have never tasted the original Cincinnati Chili. The original recipe is over 60 years old. The original Cincinnati Chili recipe is a secret recipe.
Many chefs have been able to figure out the recipe. It helps if you have a background in mediterranean cooking or Greek cooking when it comes time to figuring out the spice mix in this chili. Kaftah Spice Mix is a middle eastern and Armenian spice mix that is used to flavor meatballs. Kaftah is similar to the spices that are in this chili. Moussaka is another recipe that has the same spices that are in this chili.
The cooking technique for making this chili is not what you would expect. The ground minced beef is gently simmered in water instead of being browned in a skillet with grease.
I took a look at some of the Cincinnati Chili recipes on the internet before cooking this chili. I honestly had to laugh! Every recipe had varying amounts of chili powder in the recipe. There is no chili powder in the original Cincinnati Chili! You may ask, "Why did this Cincinnati recipe get the chili name attached if is has no chili powder in the recipe?" The answer is, because it looks like chili!
This is a chili recipe that is worth trying. Do not be afraid to go heavy on the spices in this recipe. An under seasoned Cincinnati Chili is mediocre at best. Ketchup was originally invented to be used as a cooking sauce and not as a condiment. Ketchup is used in many Russian recipes. So do not think that the ketchup is not part of this recipe. The ketchup is what gives Cincinnati chili a slightly zesty flavor. Chocolate is also a necessary ingredient in Cincinnati Chili.
Cincinnati Chili Recipe:
Place 1 pound of ground beef in a saute pan.
Add enough water to cover the ground beef.
Place the saute pan on a burner that is set to medium/medium low heat.
Break up the uncooked ground beef with a wire whisk. No pieces of ground beef should be clinging together. The ground beef and water should look like a wet slurry.
As the water and ground beef starts to cook, skim the excess grease from the top of the water.
Add 3 tablespoons of very finely minced onion.
Add 2 tablespoons of very finely minced green bell pepper.
Add 5 cloves of minced garlic.
Add 3 tablespoons of very finely chopped canned whole plum tomato and a little of the tomato juice from the can. (The proportion of the vegetables should only be about 1/10th of the amount of ground beef in this chili.)
Stir the chili occasionally as it simmers.
Add 1/3 cup of ketchup.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 tablespoon of cinnamon.
Add 1 tablespoon of cumin.
Add 1 tablespoon of paprika.
Add 2 teaspoons of allspice.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg.
Add 4 pinches of marjoram.
Reduce the temperature to low heat.
Add 1 ounce of dark bitter chocolate.
Gently stir the chocolate into the chili as it melts.
Simmer and reduce till the chili becomes a brown color and till the chili thickens to a medium heavy consistency.
Reduce the temperature to vey low heat.
Continue to simmer the chili for 30 minutes. Add water if the chili becomes too thick.
Note: Taste the chili. Cinnamon and allspice should be the first spices that are noticed. The warm cumin flavor should be noticed as well. If the chili tastes slightly bland, then add a little bit more of each spice. The ketchup becomes the body of the chili sauce. It will add a slightly tangy flavor and the sweetness of the ketchup should be hardly noticed. The chocolate should only add a very subtle flavor.
Ladle the chili into a serving bowl.
Serve with oyster crackers on the side.
Absolutely delicious! The flavor of Cincinnati Chili is indescribable. (Unless Greek food is part of your daily diet.) The spices give this chili a very appealing aroma and flavor. This chili should be a medium thick consistency and not runny. Crumble the oysters crackers into the chili as you dine. Yummy! ... Shawna