You'll love this chili if you tend to like foods from the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Greek food, or Indian food, because of the spices and flavor profile. If you don't, you won't. If you finish this dish off with some diced onions and grated Cheddar cheese like I did, you'll be enjoying what they call in Cincinnati a "Four-Way," because of the four components, but feel free to serve as you like.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
1 hr 5 mins
total:
1 hr 25 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
For service:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine beef and tomato paste in a large pot. Rinse out the tomato paste can with a couple tablespoons of water and add to the pot with garlic, onion, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, allspice, cloves, black pepper, bay leaf, sugar, and salt. Add apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, and cold water. Mash and stir with a potato masher or a large whisk to break up the meat into fine pieces.

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  • Place the pot over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until flavors come together and chili reaches your desired thickness, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 12 minutes. Drain.

  • Taste chili and adjust seasoning. Remove and discard bay leaf. Ladle over spaghetti into serving bowls. Top with some onions and Cheddar cheese. Cut and scoop the noodles up with a fork like you're eating a casserole.

Chef's Notes:

If you have a choice, the finer the grind of the ground beef, the better.

You can use 2 teaspoons of fine salt instead kosher salt, and white vinegar instead of apple cider if you like. All the spices can and should be adjusted to taste.

I thought this was a little too dry and that I had reduced it a little too much, so I added a little more water, tomato paste, and another pinch of salt, brought it back up to temperature, and served it the same way as before. It was pretty much the same experience, with more juices on the bottom of the bowl. But the video I've seen of the real stuff looks more similar to the second, saucier version.

Nutrition Facts

753 calories; protein 48.4g; carbohydrates 52.9g; fat 38.4g; cholesterol 151.5mg; sodium 1443.7mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (23)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/27/2020
Fantastic! Great to see you put out this staple of the Queen City. First off, the thicker chili makes it really versatile for making awesome chili cheese coneys (don't forget to add mustard and onions), or as a topping for potatoes or loaded french fries. Pro tip: cook the beef just in water for about 20 minutes. Then put it in a bowl and throw in the fridge overnight. This causes all the fat to rise to the top and solidify so you can easily scoop it off with a spoon. Then return to your pot with all the components for a nice slow simmer. Finally, I like to add a tbs of cocoa powder to the chili while simmering. This city was known for its German heritage but this one is a shout out to our Greek immigrants. Enjoy! Read More
(11)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
02/05/2020
I hate to give a bad review, so a 3 is as low as I can go. I am hoping my issue was a 'lost in translation' problem. 1/4 cup of chili powder? I always follow the instructions exactly, the first time I make it. Then I can adjust. I knew by the smell that, this was too spicy for me. Once the ridiculously small spoon hit my mouth I was reaching for a drink. My daughter who loves spicy thought it was ok, but lacked depth of flavor because all she could taste was chili powder. Read More
(6)
29 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 25
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
01/27/2020
Fantastic! Great to see you put out this staple of the Queen City. First off, the thicker chili makes it really versatile for making awesome chili cheese coneys (don't forget to add mustard and onions), or as a topping for potatoes or loaded french fries. Pro tip: cook the beef just in water for about 20 minutes. Then put it in a bowl and throw in the fridge overnight. This causes all the fat to rise to the top and solidify so you can easily scoop it off with a spoon. Then return to your pot with all the components for a nice slow simmer. Finally, I like to add a tbs of cocoa powder to the chili while simmering. This city was known for its German heritage but this one is a shout out to our Greek immigrants. Enjoy! Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
02/05/2020
Soooo good! I am of Cincinnati descent, so I had to add just under a T. of unsweetened cocoa powder to make it “authentic” Lol! Other than that, I made it as written. Tastes like home! Read More
(6)
Rating: 3 stars
02/05/2020
I hate to give a bad review, so a 3 is as low as I can go. I am hoping my issue was a 'lost in translation' problem. 1/4 cup of chili powder? I always follow the instructions exactly, the first time I make it. Then I can adjust. I knew by the smell that, this was too spicy for me. Once the ridiculously small spoon hit my mouth I was reaching for a drink. My daughter who loves spicy thought it was ok, but lacked depth of flavor because all she could taste was chili powder. Read More
(6)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/28/2020
added cardamom & mix of dark/milk chocolate-"supposedly" i have the original recipe that was on the web for a very brief time and taken down -love this dish Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
01/26/2020
Delicious! Very different from traditional chili. Love the variety of spices. Will be making this again! Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
01/26/2020
Love this kind of Chili from SW Ohio. So many ways to make since being introduced in the mid '40's as Skyline Chili. I like to go back and forth between the Cincinnati version and the Skyline version. All that needs to be done is for Skyline is add 1 oz of unsweet chocolate and eliminate the chili powder. Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/03/2020
The family stopped into Skyline chili last summer on vacation. This version in my opinion was even better. Nice spicey bite without being too overboard on anything. The only change I made was that I halved the cloves. I was afraid of that being too overpowering. We had it traditional over spaghetti and on hot dogs. Very good recipe. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
01/25/2020
Thanks Chef John for this recipe. Just moved from Cincinnati to Florida and was missing my chili. We also enjoy five ways (with beans) and hot dogs with chili cheese onions and mustard. You re right you either like it or hate it. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
02/23/2020
I love Cincinnati-style chili!!! Never had it before. I liked the allspice etc. I did use the comments about chocolate. Read More
(2)
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