Tag Archives: dinner recipes

Chili – Cincinnati Style

This weekend I decided to make chili in the Crock Pot. It’s completely out of season since people tend to eat soups and chilis in the winter, and summer has just started to kick in for the DC area, but I’ve never been very good at doing things at appropriate seasonal times. I tend to cut my hair short in the winter, as I did this past winter – to a pixie cut. And dye my hair darker in the spring. I just can’t get myself on the right seasonal clock. Maybe I’m meant to live in the southern hemisphere. 🙂

My absolute favorite kind of chili is Cincinnati-style. Part of my family is from Ohio, so I was fortunate enough to get to try this style of chili growing up. It has a very unique “sweet-spiciness” to it which is the result of cinnamon in the recipe. Also, in Ohio they traditionally serve it on top of spaghetti. Personally, I’m not one for chili on my spaghetti but I do think this style of chili is the perfect texture and taste for chili dogs. Hello guilty pleasure!

I decided to cook this chili in the slow cooker, as I do with most chili recipes, because chili is one of those foods that only gets better the longer the ingredients have to meld together. Plus, you can’t get easier than the slow cooker! Since it was a warm and sunny day outside, I could start my chili and then leave it while I enjoyed the beautiful weather at the Washington National’s game with my friend Jen. And I returned to a pot of delicious chili! I’ve been fooling around with a few chili recipes for a while, but I think this one is finally perfect! 🙂


Cincinnati-style Chili in the Crock Pot
Serves 8

    – 2 pounds ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
    – 6 oz of tomato paste
    – 1 onion, chopped
    – 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    – 2 tablespoons chili powder
    – 1 teaspoon unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
    – 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    – 2 teaspoons dried marjoram (can substitute oregano – but it’s a stronger flavor)
    – ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    – Pinch of ground cloves
    – 2 15 oz cans of dark red kidney beans

Brown the ground beef in a skillet and drain well. Add the beef and all other ingredients except the beans to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. You don’t have to worry about chopping the onions or garlic too small, as both will “cook away” and become part of the sauce/beef mixture. You can hardly tell there are any onions in the chili! It could be a good way to sneak in some vegetables if you have picky eaters in the house. Add the beans to the slow cooker during the last hour of cooking. Serve Ohio-style over spaghetti with sharp cheddar cheese, or over hot dogs, or just plain in a bowl with some shredded cheddar on top. It’s delicious in so many different ways! 🙂

Note: I’m a big fan of beans so this recipe is a little bean-heavy. You can reduce the recipe to 1 can of beans if you prefer.