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Actually, there are two 4-Ways: 4-Way Bean and 4-Way Onion, ordered by Cincinnatians as 4-Way-B and 4-Way-O respectively. Aficionados may occasionally be heard ordering an x-Way Dry or x-Way Wet, which prompts the chef to included less or more liquid in the ladle of chili. Or how about a 5-Way Inverted, which is assembled with the cheese on the bottom and the spaghetti on top? I like to add a little mustard so the taste if reminiscent of a Skyline Skyliner: a special Kahn’s wiener on a bun with mustard, chili, onions, and cheese. Hot sauce is optional but recommended.
Why would you want to discard the fat? Doing so diminishes the flavor and mouthfeel. If you want to make it healthier, eliminate the spaghetti.
Hi Frank! I made this dish for these photos, and I can attest that what you scrape off is a layer of fat on the top that’s just not necessary for the consumption of the dish. It’s part of the prep process of Cincinnati Chili, and serving it with spaghetti is part of the tradition. You can certainly eliminate the spaghetti if you like and just eat this as chili itself–just don’t tell anyone from Cincinnati! (Kidding! Regional food pride is a real thing!) Thanks for your question!
well I had no cloves so I left them out, had no tomato sauce so I used 1/2 cup ketchup 1/2 cup water,had to use the 3 tbs. cocoa powder, used about 1 tsp of adobo seasoning instead of salt, and a big heaping tbs of brown sugar, now it’s perfect!
I enjoyed it. But other members of my family– who are from Cincinnati– think it has far too much chili powder, and too little chocolate, cinnamon, and cumin, as well as being too thick. Personally though, I liked it, but it did have quite a different flavor than Cinci chili I’ve had in the past– if you want to make it more like that add water/cook for less time, reduce the chili, and increase the other spices.
Video was helpful, and not trying to be picky, but we don’t spin the pasta on the fork here in the Queen City……we slice straight down through cheese, chili and pasta and scoop with the fork in one continuous motion.
I grew up in Cincinnati, favoring Gold Star vs Skyline, but never knew how it was made (without the packet!) This chili was great! Brought back the authentic taste of my childhood. Stirring the ground beef into the water to make a sludge was strange, but created the perfect texture. Had our 3-ways tonight… looking forward to chili dogs later in the week!
Just the chili recipe itself was great! I added the cider vinegar and cocoa powder at the end (I didn’t have any unsweetened chocolate so I used a substitution of 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon butter). The cocoa was a bit too strong and knocked me over… I might halve that in the future or see if unsweetened chocolate makes a difference.
I found I preferred the chili best with crackers. I didn’t have any oyster crackers so I used townhouse, and the sweetness of the crackers balanced out the chili very well, and made it quite delicious! I found the recipe overall very enjoyable. In the future I might be apt to try this without any chocolate since the basic part of the recipe was pretty good on its own.
Wonderful! I’ll never make any other chili recipe. I have shared with friends who say the same. Thank you.
As a Detroiter, it deeply offends me that they call Cincinnati chili dogs “coneys”. They have NOTHING in common with true Michigan coneys. Most people in this state find Cincinnati chili inedible. Cinnamon, clove, and allspice belong in great Lebanese fare, not in chili. Save the chocolate for mojo.
I’ve never had Cincinnati Chili before making this. My kids were certain they were going to hate it. We were all pleasantly surprised. A week later, I visited my kid’s adopted grandparents, one of them an Ohio native. He just so happened to be making Cincinnati chili and served it to use for dinner. It tasted very similar, but this version was our favorite. We loved it over spaghetti which was SO weird (yet so delicious) for us as New Yorkers.
I lived almost 20 years in Cincinnati, and still visit often, and like most Cinci expats still addicted to this chili. Tried this recipe and it is excellent. Differs only a little from the recipe I have been using which was printed in the Cincinnati Enquirer decades ago. This one is slightly more tomatoey (the addition of tomato paste) and is missing the dash of Worcestershire Sauce in my original recipe. When served in Cincinnati the spaghetti is always very mushy ( they have never heard of al dente.)There is nothing quite like the smell of this chili cooking!
Many years ago here in upstate New York, I worked with a guy from Cincinnati and he turned me on to their version of chili. Rather than try to explain it, he just had me try some. That was definitely the path of least resistance. Been making it using his recipe, which included the unsweetened chocolate, ever since. Even passed this recipe down to our kids. Try it, you’ll like it!
I’m a native Ohioan on the east coast and though I don’t care for Cincinnati Chili (I don’t like Pastitsio, either, which has a very similar flavor), but I do feel like I need to explain/defend its existence to people who think it’s weird.
Jessica, I totally understand what you mean.When people say “that’s not chili”, I want to say, “it’s only not chili according to you.” I now aim not to talk smack about regional foods with variations I don’t get. Hopefully Cincinnati chili has made me a more tolerant person.
I’ve never heard of Cincinnati Chilli before, but I’m in Europe, not far from Macedonia and Greece. However, I remember adding ground cinnamon to beef pasta sauce, it was delicious. I can’t wait to try this chilli, especially as there are no beans in it!
By looking at the picture, even I can taste how delicious it is
This was the best Cincinnati chile I have ever had, and I’ve had alot!
I was born in Cincinnati and grew up in Maryland. My dear Mother made Cincinnati Chili quite often much to the delight of the family. Cincinnati Chili is unbelievably excellent whether served in a bowl, over spaghetti, or on top of a hot dog (w/mustard). The ‘MUSHIER’ you make the raw ground beef by vigorous stirring at the beginning with ‘half the water’ the more rewarding when entering the mouth. This recipe is very close to the one I use from scratch. Try it! You’ll love it!