Viewing post #843538 by critterologist
|I used to mix up big heaping batches of DIY chili powder with most of the ingredients you mentioned above, using either more or less cinnamon depending on how "Cincinnati" I wanted to go.
Then Penzey's came out with their Chile 3000 spice blend. One fingertip-taste, and we bought a bag of it. One crockpot recipe later, and we were hooked. 1 Tablespoon per quart of chile is just about perfect; add extra cayenne or just give your bowl a shot of tabasco if you want more heat. I don't add the beef at the beginning. Instead, I use a good-quality beef bouillon paste (one where the first ingredient is meat and salt is second) and water until I have enough liquid to simmer the beans (yes, my chili has beans). I'd rather brown off the hamburger and add it at toward the end of cooking, so the meat still tastes like beef. If I use the bouillon (replacing any salt in the recipe), the beef flavor gets simmered all though without having to be pulled out of the ground beef.
It's not an exact recipe... my 5 quart crockpot has room for 4 or 5 cans of beans \(I like a combination of little red beans, dark kidney beans, light kidney beans, pink beans, pinto beans.. whatever I happen to have on hand, although DH wasn't wild about the inclusion of butter beans recently... I thought they tasted fine, but he said they were just "wrong."), plus 1 to 2 1/2 pounds ground meat (browned, grease drained off, crumbled), a douple big diced onions (often also sauteed first), a couple dollops of mined garlic, and 2 to 4 cups canned/fresh/frozen tomatoes. All that tomato juice and bouillon does make a pretty thin broth, so I also add a can of condensed tomato soup. I'd probably add 2-3 cans on my own accord, since I grew up with tomato soup-y chile, but DH isn't a fan... 1 can, however, just gives a little backbone to the broth but otherwise pretty much disappears.
I think Cincinatti chili needs to be served all 5 ways. My Grandma (in Wisconsin) always added cooked macaroni and corn to her chili, and it was wonderful... another midwestern variation? or was that just "her thing?"
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