Cincinnati-Style Chili

What sets this regional chili apart from the rest is a bit of cinnamon and unsweetened chocolate.


  • For the chili:
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup white onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, grated (or 2 tablespoons cocoa powder)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 15 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • To serve:
  • 1 box spaghetti, cooked according to package instructions
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped onions
  • Oyster crackers
  • Canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Hot sauce


  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and chopped onion, cooking until brown. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two until fragrant.
  2. Season with spices and remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 2-3 hours until flavors have melded. (If chili gets too dry, add a bit of stock to prevent from burning.)
  3. Serve accordingly - 2-way: chili over spaghetti; 3-way: chili, spaghetti and cheese; 4-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese and kidney beans (or onions); 5-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, kidney beans and onions.