Michael, that’s the impression I got as well. And it seems like it would yield a very different texture, as browning the beef first is going to yield larger clumps of meat, whereas boiling it would give a finer texture, which seems more appropriate to the sauce-like nature of the dish.
I’ve also been told by a good many sources that most chili parlors in Cincinatti do not cook any onion into the sauce itself, but save the onions raw for a possible topping for four-way, and to definitely be included in a five-way…hence, one of my issues with Foodbyme’s comments above. It seems I shouldn’t be REQUIRED to include any onion in the sauce portion of the dish if I don’t want to, especially after so many folks have told me that it wouldn’t be so in the authentic dish anyway.
Now, as for my own health-conscious avoidance of sharp yellow cheeses, well that may be in contrary to the typical serving of the dish, but I can’t avoid that. I don’t avoid hamburgers altogether just because the rest of the country thinks I MUST have a cheeseburger (and intolerable pain that keeps me from walking for two days). I like pasta and kidney beans, and I just bet I’d like a Cincinatti-style chili sauce without any onions. Anyone (other than Foodbyme) see why I can’t just put those three things together and enjoy them? OK, the waiter would look at me funny in a chili parlor in Cincinatti, but isn’t the customer always right? It’s not the "holy authentic three-way", but does that mean I mustn’t even try to find a version that I can eat?
Sorry if this seems a little irate, but a certain person’s comments (both public and private) have really rubbed me as intolerant, hypocrytical, and just plain wrong.