Warm spices and a host of unexpected garnishes lend this regional chili its unique flavor. We wondered if we could recreate this Midwestern dish in our test kitchen.
Why This Recipe Works
Warm spices and a host of unexpected garnishes lend Cincinnati chili recipes their unique flavors—but can sometimes muddle the dish. To recreate this Midwestern recipe in our own kitchen, we narrowed our ingredient list to four spices. Tomato paste added richness and color to our Cincinnati Chili recipe, while dark brown sugar gave it a molasses tang. Boiling the beef in water kept it extremely tender during cooking—we cooked ours directly in our spices and liquid to infuse the meat with the intense flavor. Serving our recipe over spaghetti, topped with any combination of cheese, onions, beans, and oyster crackers, gave us the true Cincinnati chili experience.