Cincinnati Chili … Sort of … Not Really
But when I saw a recipe for Cincinnati chili in the February issue of Bon Appetit, I had to try it. I’ll be upfront about my motives:
morbid weary curiosity. The recipe replaces ground beef with lamb, in an interesting nod to Cincinnati chili’s Macedonian roots.
However, we’re talking names here. Adding lamb to chili and calling it “Cincinnati chili” is like making a bean stew and calling it “Texas chili” (Texas chili is all about the meat, baby). Only Texans are allowed to make vegetarian Texas chili. For the rest of us, our creations are called simply vegetarian chili. 😉
One further comment: Bon Appetit’s recipe is basically a riff on this well-worn (and not very authentic) Cincinnati chili recipe, with lamb instead of beef. And completely puzzling additions of fresh parsley and goat cheese. [Scratches head]. I totally left those out. Unapologetically.
Here, it doesn’t matter: it’s just regular chili we’re makin’, with lamb, cinnamon and chocolate, like you do every day. No need to make a fuss about onion cube size.
Not Quite But Still Tasty Cincinnati Chili
Changed to remove the more egregious ingredients, from epicurious.com and Bon Appetit, February 2011.
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cups chopped onions
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 pounds ground lamb
1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 2/3 cups (about) low-salt beef broth, divided
1/3 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon (packed) brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound spaghetti
2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed, drained coarsely
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add lamb; cook until browned, breaking into pieces, about 15 minutes. Add cocoa and next 5 ingredients; stir 3 minutes. Stir in 4 cups broth and next 6 ingredients. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until thickened, stirring often, about 1 hour. Spoon fat from top of chili. Season with salt and pepper. Thin with broth by 1/3 cupfuls.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Transfer to large bowl.
Divide spaghetti among bowls. Top with chili. Garnish with cheese and onions.