I recently decided that it was time to cook again. I had ordered some seasoning packets for Cincinnati-style chili through Amazon and decided it was time to make some.
I had Cincinnati-style chili for the first time when I attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Since Lexington is only about 80 miles south of Cincinnati, there was a Skyline Chili restaurant near campus and everyone from the Northern KY area raved about the chili. I gave in and tried some and it is certainly not the hot chili that so many people are familiar with.
This chili is best described as Greek chili. There is a secret list of ingredients but the main item seems to be cinnamon, and the resulting flavor is mild and spicy rather than hot.
The other thing that stands out about this Cincinnati-style chili is the way it is served. Almost everyone has this chili served over spaghetti along with onions, cheese and beans. A more regional variation is to add some mustard to the mix on the plate as well. What you end up with is something like this:
Personally, I have a lactose problem, so I tend to skip the cheese topping. I do love onions, so mine ends up looking something like this:
At any rate, the chili is delicious and easy to make. All you need in addition to the seasoning packet shown above is 1-1.5 lbs of ground beef, a can of tomato paste and 6 cups of water. You place the ground beef into the pot along with the water and separate the ground beef with a fork so there are no chunks. Add the tomato paste and the seasoning packet and bring things to a full boil. Then reduce to simmer and let it cook that way for approximately 60 minutes and the chili is done. Of course, making the pasta is an additional task, but not an overwhelming one. I use the cooking time to dice up onions so they are ready to sprinkle on top of the chili when I am ready to serve it. A lot of people will put oyster crackers on the chili to absorb the sauce, but I just use saltines.