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Cincinnati Chili recipes?

Just reading the midwest board debating where to get the best Cincinnati chili: my Ohio-born man waxes eloquent about good 5-way Cincinnati chili, and asked if I could get a recipe for his next poker night.

For the uninitiated, Cincinnati chili is not that typical bowl of spicy beans -- it's a spicy meat gravy topping for spaghetti. Depending on what you add (beans, cheese, chopped onion, etc.) it becomes 3-way, 4-way, 5-way... seems to me I heard something about crushed saltines in there too.

I'd hate to think it was something as simple as browning ground beef, stirring in chili powder and water. Whatcha got fer me, Hounds?

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  1. You are probably going to get some great recipes from expert locals, so I won't bother to try to write down the method I use to make Cincinnati chili in Pennsylvania!

    But I can tell you that during the year we spent in Cincy for business, my husband and I came to really enjoy the chili. If you search online for Goldstar Chili you'll find recipes from customers who believe they've duplicated the recipe and any one of them is probably a good place to start.

    The key ingredients are chocolate and cinnamon. But serving it over spaghetti with finely shredded cheddar and a drizzle of hot sauce is also critical!

    1. I guess this is not of any help really, but I think it can be on the sweeter side rather than spicy. I recall some recipes having cinnamon as an ingredient..

      1. I haven't made it but saw an episode of America's Test Kitchen where they made Cincinnati chili. You should be able to find the recipe on their website and then check to see how it meshes with other online recipes.

        It should definitely have cinnamon and maybe even cocoa powder in it and should be very loose. Never seen the saltines, but some of the locals I've eaten with at Skyline when I was in Cincy for work crushed oyster crackers on top of their 3-ways.

        1. The Joy of Cooking has a good Cincy recipe. I can't remember if there's cocoa in it, but there's definitely cinnamon.
          Hmmm...I think I'm going to make some this weekend!

          1. You will find many recipes for Cincinnati chili on the web. If you want to achieve the true texture of the real item, however, make sure you cook the ground beef in broth, rather than browning it in a frying pan, as you would typically do for other forms of chili. I'd also suggest you prepare the chili the day before you intend to serve it, so that you can refrigerate the boiled beef, which allows you to easily remove the fat before you serve the dish.