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Cincinnati Style Chili

I first tried this dish in Chicago many years ago at a Cincy Chili franchise. Although it never really caught on here, I was hooked. After finding a recipe for it in a local paper and experimenting with the seasonings, I came up with a version that was to my liking. It is unlike Texas red chili in being mild and mellow with complex overtones from the many spices added to it.



6 - 8 servings


Brown the meat, drain excess fat and set aside. Brown the onion and pepper in oil, until onion is transparent, then cool. Mix the rest of the ingredients (up to the pasta) and bring to a simmer. After 10 minutes, add the cooked meat, onions and pepper, then simmer for 30 minutes more.

Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain.

Serve the chili over the pasta and garnish with the other condiments as desired.


The meat may be cooked ahead of time, then refrigerated or even frozen before use.

If spicy chili powder is used, the red pepper is not necessary. This is supposed to be a fairly mellow dish (not fiery hot).

Whole cumin is preferable. Toast lightly first, then grind in a mortar or coffee/spice grinder. For that matter, use all whole spices when possible and grind just before using.

This recipe is best when prepared a day in advance, which allows the complex flavors to blend better.


This recipe was provided by Steve K from Des Plaines