Cincinnati Chili

A recipe taken from America: The Cookbook
Cincinnati Chili
Cincinnati Chili

Called a chili, this is more of a soupy ground (minced) beef sauce seasoned with sweet and savory spices. Now a regional standby, the Cincinnati, Ohio dish was created in 1922 by Macedonian immigrant brothers and showcases a blend of spices that may include cinnamon, allspice, Worcestershire sauce, and sometimes chocolate. Many crown it with chopped onions, shredded cheese, kidney beans, and crushed oyster crackers. Serve it over spaghetti.

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus overnight chilling

Cooking time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Serves: 6


1 lb (455 g) ground (minced) beef
4 cups (950 ml) beef stock or water
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (15 oz/425 g) tomato purée (passata)

Cooked spaghetti, for serving

Crushed oyster crackers, for topping

Optional garnishes: grated cheddar cheese, chopped white onions, cooked kidney beans


In a large pot, combine the ground (minced) beef and beef stock. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat while simultaneously breaking apart the beef with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat and simmer, continuing to break up the beef so that it is very fine. Cook for 20 minutes. Add the bay leaves, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, cinnamon, cayenne, allspice, cloves, salt, and tomato purée (passata) and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1½ hours. Remove from the heat, cover, and refrigerate overnight or longer. Before serving, skim the fat from the top and discard. Reheat the chili. Sprinkle with oyster crackers and garnishes of choice after the chili is put atop the spaghetti.



With 800 home-cooking recipes, America: The Cookbook is a celebration of the remarkable diversity of American food and food culture state by state. Features 50 essays and menus from a 'who's who' of 100 foremost food experts and chefs.

America: The Cookbook is the first book to document comprehensively – and celebrate – the remarkable diversity of American cuisine and food culture. A thoroughly researched compendium of 800 home-cooking recipes for delicious and authentic American dishes, America: The Cookbook explores the country's myriad traditions and influences, regional favourites and melting-pot fusion – the culinary heritage of a nation, from appetizers to desserts and beyond. A unique state-by-state section features essays and menus from a 'who's who' of 100 foremost food experts and chefs.