May 29, 2012

Cincinnati Chili

Growing up my father was a huge red meat fan. My mother tried for years to integrate more vegetarian dishes and to eliminate red meat from our family diet. She would make great peanut noodles, which my dad decided were too spicy and complained had no meat. Then she tried stir-fry, which my dad thought was great, after he added ground beef. After a couple of years my mom thought she had succeeded in getting my father to stop eating red meat, I knew better. He would sneak out to McDonald's and buy their cheap hamburgers and eat two on the way home. My mother was successful in turning one person into a vegetarian, me. I was a vegetarian starting my freshman year of high-school until my junior year of college. Then I slowly added back fish and chicken. Then I met my husband. My husband and two boys have been known to eat an entire pack of bacon in one sitting. The men in my family are definitely big red meat fans. Since I am more a once a week at most red meat eater, I have slowly been able to convince the rest of my family to follow my lead. One dish that my husband absolutely loves though is Cincinnati chili. He can go on a twenty minute tangent on the various difference and qualities between the various Cincinnati chili brands. I have made Cincinnati chili at home a number of times, but never in the crockpot so I was interested when I saw a recipe in the February issue of Family Circle for Cincinnati Chili done completely in the slow-cooker.
This recipe has 16 ingredients (plus 3 optional). It takes 15 minutes of prep and 8 hours on low in the crock-pot and makes 8 servings. I had no problems finding any of the ingredients at my local grocery store. Like I almost always do I ground my own Angus beef. I find that when I grind my own meat the texture and flavor is much better. Plus the attachment for the KitchenAid is inexpensive and very easy to use. I would normally make my own beef stock, but my normal grocery store was out of beef bones, so I bought 100% natural beef stock instead. For the toppings I added cheddar cheese on the plate. Normally my husband also likes chopped onions and occasionally beans (a five-way), but chose to play it simple with just cheese (a three-way). I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
For people unfamiliar with Cincinnati chili this is a very accessible recipe. The chili is on the mild side similar to Dixie chili, a smaller chain in Northern Kentucky. My kids really liked this recipe, they even had seconds. Make sure to taste and salt this recipe before serving. I had to add a couple of teaspoons of salt to make the flavor right before serving. I love that this recipe uses the crockpot and the flavor is still the same. Most Cincinnati chili recipes use garlic and onion powder so I was skeptical when the recipe used fresh ingredients. However, the finished result was perfect, so my assumption was misplaced. Overall, a very easy way to make Cincinnati style chili recipe.

For the recipe go to Cincinnati Chili.
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