Taste of Ohio: Simple recipe for Cincinnati-style chili

Taste of Ohio: Simple recipe for Cincinnati-style chili

by Shane A. Elkins
Stripes Japan


2 pounds ground chuck (leaner is better)

1 jug tomato juice (40-46 oz)

1 whole large onion

4 tablespoons chili powder (more or less as desired)

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground all spice

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

5 whole bay leaves

1-2 teaspoons vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)

2+ dashes Worcestershire sauce

1 can kidney beans

1 pound of Spaghetti

*feel free to dial back the black and red pepper if you think it’ll be too spicy.


Chili (1-Way)

Over spaghetti (2-Ways)

With kidney beans (3-Ways)

With chopped onions (4-Ways)

With shredded cheddar cheese (5-ways)

With sour cream (if you made it too spicy)


1. There are a lot of ingredients but it is not difficult because they all go into the pot at the same time. Get some small bowls or cupcake holders and measure out everything first.

2. Break apart the ground beef into really small pieces and put into the unheated pot. Take your time because if you spend this time upfront you won’t have to break it apart while it’s cooking. Add all the spices and tomato juice to the pot. Cut the tip off the onion and cut it into quarters almost to the root. Don’t break it apart because you’ll discard the onion when the chili is done. Submerge the onion in the pot.

3. Cook on medium-low heat, uncovered for two hours, stirring every 20 minutes. While the chili is cooking get yourself a sturdy metal or glass cup and a small ladle. Use these to skim off the grease that will collect on the top. The beef is not cooked first so there will be grease collecting on top.

4. Heat the beans in a small pan separately and serve as a side dish. Cook the spaghetti per directions on the package. Remove onion and bay leaves.

5. Serve your favorite way: 1-way; 2-way; 3-way; 4-way or 5-way. This is a really easy and great recipe.

6. Enjoy!

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