Cin City...

One of the joys of knowing how to cook, and being in control of my own meal planning, is that I can now make the special occasion dishes I once enjoyed as a child whenever I damn well feel like it. Growing up, I always enjoyed Mom's Cincinnati-style chili (a dish consisting of an unusually-spiced sauce served over spaghetti and several optional toppings), but I could probably count on one hand the number of times she made it. Usually, it was something she would prepare if she was having a soup buffet dinner party for guests, or for a special occasion such as a birthday, if someone made a request. However, it was never something in the regular dinner rotation, because it required lengthy simmering and the preparation of an array of condiments. Regular chili, or spaghetti, was a a more convenient choice.

When I was in college, and teaching myself how to cook, I copied the recipe into my newly-purchased cookbook when I was transcribing all my favorite family recipes. Now I could have it whenever the craving struck, and although I still don't prepare it often, I still enjoy it several times a year. This week, I prepared a batch for a weekday dinner with Justin, and much to my satisfaction, he enjoyed the unique flavor combination. If you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary to infuse some excitement into your dining routine, I'd seriously consider giving this recipe a try.

Cincinnati Chili
from Mom

2 lbs ground round
3 cloves of garlic
1 large white onion, minced
15 oz can beef broth
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
2 8 oz cans water
2 T. semisweet chocolate chips
2 T. chili powder
2 T. cider vinegar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 bay leaf

1. Cook ground beef with garlic and minced onions.
2. Drain fat with paper towels.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients.
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.
5. Cover, and simmer 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Serve with spaghetti, warmed and drained kidney beans, chopped onions, and shredded cheddar cheese.

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