Black’s Barbecue - Chili

Cincinnati Five-Way Chili

No Cincinnati chili chef gives out his or her recipe, but we did manage to secure one by sending away a dollar to a lady just over the border in Kentucky, who advertised in the back of a midwestern house-wife's magazine that she knew how to make the real thing. With some minor adjustments, it worked for us, and closely approximates some of the city's best brews. Feel free to fiddle and fuss to your own taste; and if you are missing cardamom or coriander, substitute something else. Five-way practically demands that you reinvent the recipe and make it your own.

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • 1 1/4 lbs Ground beef
  • 2 Medium onions chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup Barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 ounce Unsweetened chocolate grated
  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Tomato juice as needed
  • 16 ounce Red kidney beans
  • 1 lb Cheddar cheese finely shredded
  • Oyster crackers for garnish
  • In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown the meat with half the chopped onions and the garlic, stirring to keep it loose. Drain any fat from the pan. Add the barbecue sauce and ½ cup water and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the chocolate, spices, and salt. Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The chili will thicken as it cooks. Add tomato juice, as necessary, to create a brew that ladles up easily. Allow the chili to rest at least30 minutes in a covered pan at room temperature. (Chili can be refrigerated and reheated to serve.)
  • Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti until just tender. Drain and toss with the butter. Rinse the beans and put into a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until warm. Drain any excess liquid.
  • To make each plate, start with a layer of spaghetti; top it with the hot chili, and then a few warm beans and some of the remaining chopped onions. Pat on some cheese so the chili's heat can begin to melt it.
  • Serve immediately with oyster crackers.


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