It's in the Cincinnati airport that I discovered one of the quirkiest regional mash-ups in cuisine. Their regional specialty was Cincinnati Chili....a mix of chili and buttered spaghetti noodles. I always ordered what was called 4-Way Cincinnati Chili: spaghetti, chili, onions and cheese. They had a 5-Way, but not being a bean fan, I never ordered it.
The chili is not really a Tex-Mex type of chili. Rather it has a distinct flavor and bit of sweetness to it, thanks in part to brown sugar and cinnamon. But it is incredibly delicious and once you have it, I can guarantee that you will be making this dish at least a couple of times per month.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
16 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook onions until soft and browned around edges, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and allspice and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth, tomato sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
- Add beef and stir to break up meat. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until chili is deep brown and slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.
- While chili is simmering, cook spaghetti to al dente and when done, toss with butter.
- Season chili with salt. Serve with spaghetti noodles on the bottom, topped with chili, onions and cheese.
Pairing: If you insist on drinking red wine with this, I would recommend a Malbec from Argentina. But when it comes to chili, an ice cold beer is a match made in heaven. Make mine a Pacifico.
|Me and Goldie, 1956|