Weekly Dish: Cincinnati Chili

Most people think beef is not healthy. Well, think again! It is one of the most incredibly healthy meats for your body, provided the cows are grown eating grass (what cows are meant to eat… not grain/corn!) and provided no antibiotics or hormones have been used in the raising of them. If you can buy your grass-fed beef from a local farmer like we did, even better! I have a post-in-the-making one why meat is good for you, but for now, let’s just say that politically correct nutrition (i.e. no red meat, milk is bad so drink soy milk, butter is the Devil, etc…) is not correct AT ALL. Much more to come on this subject…

This Cincinnati Chili was GREAT! Not in place of chili, but as an additional option with a completely different flavor profile. (I’m sure this isn’t “traditional” but I am going to add a sweet potato next time and see how that goes. Also… we ate it up so fast I forgot to take a photo… next time.)

Cincinnati Chili

1 – 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped fine
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups tomato sauce
3 cups homemade chicken stock
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2 teaspoons honey, sucanat, rapadura, maple syrup or some other natural sweetener (molasses, etc…)

To serve (all optional):
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti, brown rice spaghetti, or spaghetti squash. (I served with spaghetti squash!)
Shredded cheese
1 onion, chopped

Cook ground beef and onion over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Drain off any grease from the beef. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, oregano, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, allspice, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, chicken stock, vinegar, and sweetener, scraping the pan bottom to remove any browned bits.
Increase to High heat. As soon as it comes to a boil, reduce heat to M-L and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chili is deep red and has thickened slightly, about 1 hour. Season with salt and hot sauce to taste.

Spoon chili over pasta or squash. Top with cheese, beans and onion.

I am sharing this recipe at Real Food Wednesday!