This is a lot of chills to come out of one bowl of chili. And Cincinnati chili, no less. Ever since I made my Chili Mac last year, I've become kind of obsessed. I never loved chili as a child. I remember it as a kidney bean thing and I am no lover of kidney beans. But having married a chili lover, I've since become one. Once I discovered the myriad of ways to make chili, I was quickly won over. Truth be told, I love Cincinnati chili. Manservant may love his Texas style chili, but Cincinnati chili is hands down, my favorite.
A few weeks ago I ran across the Mast Brothers Chocolate cookbook at the library. This is such a great book and another one I'd love to own. I hope no one requests it because I'd love to keep it awhile and make about a zillion things from it. Filled with recipes like Orange Nib Crusted Salmon and Cocoa Butternut Squash Soup and even a Cocoa Balsamic Vinaigrette - well, this is not just a dessert cookbook. This is a chocolate lover's cookbook and a cookbook lover's cookbook, too. It is a great story about how the Mast Brothers came to be. Let's just say that one day I hope to find myself in Brooklyn eating their chocolate. These guys even sailed to South America to get their cacoa beans. I mean, really? This is a good read and it will make you real, real hungry. Plus, with a forward from Thomas Keller, well you know it's got to be good. And did I mention these brothers are kind of cute. Well, I'm just sayin'.
Now I love my Chili Mac, but that chili might be more of what you find in a diner. This chili is cozy and comforting and is a totally different experience. This chili is one to savor and eat slow. Well, I say that, but I'm not sure. You might want to ladle it directly into your mouth. It would be fun to compare them side to side. I made the Mast Brothers Cincinnati chili with Ghiradelli chocolate. Such travesty, I know. Alas, I know not where to find Mast Brothers chocolate here in colorful Colorado. Would it make this chili taste even better? I really don't know. But it is damn good even with my friend Ghiradelli.
One? more thing I should tell ya. I started this post last week and then Alex showed up. Alex, who in the span of less than 48 hours had his car fixed with carpooling from Mom, built a bed frame with help from Dad and stained it with help from Mom, and ransacked our home for art work and miscellaneous pots and pans. That Alex, who is now living in Vail, on Gore Creek, working at Matsihisu, kept me from finishing this post. I should mention that if ransacking, fixing a car, and building a bed aren't enough, he also bottled beer (Tricerahops) with his Dad until 12:30AM Saturday morning in between running over to a shady part of town to find an Iphone off of Craig's List. And then the guy never showed, which was probably a good thing, since it was a maybe too good to be true price. That Alex who also went to Costco to buy a microwave to take back in between buying bottles to put the beer in and finishing the bed, thought he would be finished in 24 hours so he could ski with his buds on Saturday. Well, he didn't leave until Saturday at 12:30 pm because he was too busy and so were we, which is why I didn't send this post to you sooner.
Not that I minded. Alex has a way of making us both feel quite alive and the music is always going when he's around, which is a good thing. Though it did feel AND look like a tornado had hit once he left, yes,that Alex Odie, kept me from finishing this post. And well, in the interim this chili just happened to show up today at Leite's Culinaria, which just tells me that great minds think alike. Right?
From: Mast Brothers Chocolate, A Family Cookbook, 2013
Yield: 8 servings
Total Time: About 2 hours including cooking time
2 T vegetable oil
1 medium, finely chopped onion
2 lbs ground beef (I used turkey)
1/4 c chili powder (I used 1 1/2T ancho and 1 1/2 T Mexican red)
1 t cumin
1 t allspice
1/2 t ground cloves
2 bay leaves
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 1/2 c tomato puree
4 c beef stock
2 1/2 oz chopped dark chocolate
2 T sherry vinegar
2 pinches or to taste sea salt
2 grinds of black pepper
In a large pot, heat oil and saute onion over medium heat until translucent. Add beef or turkey and cook until browned. Stir in chili powder, cumin, allspice, cloves, bayleaf, cayenne and tomato puree. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add stock. Let simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Add chocolate and vinegar. Stir until chocolate has melted in. Remove bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. If you choose to serve this Cincinnati style you need to boil some spaghetti, chop some onion, grate some cheese. Beans if you want them. I serve it by putting a serving of spaghetti on a plate. I top that with a bit of grated cheddar. Then I add some chili. Then some beans. Then more cheddar. Then onions. Garnish with crackers. Or those little bitty oyster crackers. Stir it up. Eat it. And if you are lucky you might have a Tricerahops ready to go!
More Chili Things:
Chili Lover's Meatloaf
And here's one to pin for future chili days:
And here's one to pin for future chili days: