Right up there next to our more
4-Alarm Chili. Give this a try.
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, diced to 1/4-inch
1 medium green bell pepper, diced to 1/4-inch
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of salt
3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 pound of ground beef
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of molasses
Heat oil in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not
smoking, then sauté the onion.

Add the bell peppers and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6
minutes. Add the chili powder, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, and pepper and cook,
stirring, about 1 minute. Add the beef, if you are using it and cook, stirring and
breaking up lumps, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. If not using meat, you
can substitute with a hearty vegetable such as diced squash or carrots.

Add the molasses and tomatoes (juice and all) and simmer briskly, uncovered,
stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Serves four.

The people of Cincinnati enjoy this chili spooned over freshly made pasta and
topped with a combination of chopped onions, shredded Cheddar cheese, refried
beans or kidney beans, and crushed oyster crackers. If you choose "the works,"
you are eating what they call Five-Way Chili. Make sure to pile on the toppings;
that's what sets it apart from any other chili dish. To test a restaurant for
authenticity, ask for a Four-Way. If the server asks you whether you want beans
or onions, you know this is fake Cincinnati chili, because Four-Way always comes
with onions.

Macedonian immigrant Tom Kiradjieff created Cincinnati chili in 1922. With his
brother, John, opened a small Greek restaurant called the Empress. The restaurant
did poorly until Kiradjieff started offering a chili made with Middle Eastern spices,
which could be served in a variety of ways. He called it his "spaghetti chili."
Kiradjieff's "five way" was a concoction of a mound of spaghetti toped with chili,
chopped onion, kidney beans, and shredded yellow cheese, served with oyster
crackers and a side order of hot dogs topped with more shredded cheese.
The Main Courses Chef presents ...
Cincinnati-Style Chili
at The Fatted Café
| The Dinner Menu | More Main Courses |
Guard Cat on Duty
More PA dishes ...
Diced onions
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Refried beans or kidney beans
Crushed oyster crackers