Cincinnati Chili



I never heard of or tried Cincinnati-style chili until I moved to this area in 1996.  Remember the Hard Times Cafe in Old Town?  I was instantly smitten! This recipe is based on what may have actually been the very first recipe I ever downloaded from the internet.  It’s been a favorite since then, and has (happily, from my perspective!) been adopted by my good friend Norah as a Halloween tradition.  Always a crowd pleaser!  Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients; you probably have most of them on hand and they all get dumped in at once.  I hope you will try it!


Cincinnati Chili

1 pound lean pork, ground

1 pound ground beef

2 large yellow onions, peeled and chopped

6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine

1 Tsp. whole cumin seeds

4 Tbs.  chili powder

3 whole bay leaves

2 29oz cans kidney beans

2 Tsp. cinnamon

1 Tsp. tabasco

2 Tbs. Cocoa powder

2 Tbs. Worcestershire

2 Tbs. White vinegar

1 28 oz. can tomato puree

1 Tbs. oregano

Saute the pork, hamburger, onions, and garlic until the meat is just browned and the onions are translucent. Drain most of the fat and discard.

Add everything else, including the beans,  and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 1 1/2 hours. Add water as it cooks to keep the consistency the way you like it.

Serve over spaghetti with cheddar cheese and chopped yellow onions for “four-way” chili.