SECRETS SERVED: Cincinnati Chili

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Cincinnati chili: The inventor’s Greek roots can clearly be seen in the unique blend of spices. The secrets to this recipe are the long slow cooking, as well as the overnight refrigeration, which allow for the excess fat to be removed. I’ve also included the five “ways” for ordering this wonderfully different chili, which is usually served over spaghetti.

Prep time: 21 minutes

Cook time: 4 hours

Total time: 4 hours, 21 minutes


  • 1 quart water mixed with 2 tbsp beef base
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 yellow onions pureed
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 2.5 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp All Spice


1. Brown beef and drain. Add water/beef base mix, garlic, onion, Worcestershire, tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer while stirring until the ground beef is in very small pieces. Simmer for 30 minutes and add all the rest of the ingredients.

2. Simmer on low, uncovered, for 3 hours. Add water as needed if the chili becomes too thick.

3. Refrigerate the chili overnight, and the next day remove the layer of fat from the top before reheating.

The Cincinnati Chili Ordering Code

  • 1-way: just the chili
  • 2-way: chili served over spaghetti
  • 3-way: chili, spaghetti, and grated Cheddar cheese
  • 4-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese and onions or beans
  • 5-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions and beans
  • All “ways are served with oyster crackers.

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