As we begin fall, the season of tailgate parties and cooler weather, we dig out our favorite chili recipes. Although most of the time, we make a Tex-Mex style chili, I make this recipe for a change of pace.
Skyline Chili restaurant has been a favorite of our family–especially my nephew (Happy birthday, Joe!), but there are no Skyline Chili restaurants where we live. I needed to develop a Skyline knock off. It took work, but I did it. Wait till you taste my version of their famous, Cincinnati-style chili. I shaved off about an hour of cooking time by using a pressure cooker. Make this one a day ahead to do it right!
Makes 8 servings
2 large onions chopped
2 pounds extra-lean ground beef or lean ground turkey (Or 1 of each)
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa or 1/2 ounce grated unsweetened chocolate
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
2 (16-ounce) packages uncooked dried spaghetti pasta (I use whole grain thin spaghetti for added fiber)
Toppings: 1 can red beans, rinsed
1 sweet onion, diced
1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
In a large (4 qt) pot (I use the pot to my pressure cooker), add water and meat. Boil meat for 30 minutes, stirring often to separate the meat. Add remaining ingredients (except pasta and toppings) and bring to a boil. Put on the lid and seal, bring to pressure, then cook under pressure for 45 minutes¹. Remove from heat and allow pressure to drop on its own. When cooled, transfer chili to a glass or plastic container. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, skim off any congealed fat from the top of the chili and remove bay leaf. To serve, return to large pot and warm over low heat. Meanwhile, cook the pasta, dice onions, shred cheese (if necessary) and warm the beans. To serve three way, ladle ½ to ¾ cup of the chili over a ½ cup spaghetti then top with 2 oz. shredded cheese. Four way: add either 2 Tablespoons of beans or 2 Tablespoons diced sweet onion. Five way: add both beans and onion.
¹If you aren’t using a pressure cooker, you need to cook uncovered for 1 hour then covered an additional hour.
This is labor-intensive but worth it. For a shortcut version, try my Hasty Tasty Cincinnati Chili.
Hasty Tasty Cincinnati Chili
This is a quick version that’s almost as good as the long-cooking method. Serve it plain, five-way, or your choice. For this version, I use the pressure cooker.
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 2 cups water or broth
- 1 cup frozen diced onion
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. garam masala¹
- 1 tsp. allspice
- 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
- 2 cups cooked whole wheat spaghetti
- 1 can small red beans, rinsed and drained (Optional for topping)
- 1 cup diced onion (Optional for topping)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (Optional for topping)
- Cook ground turkey in the water or broth over medium heat in the pot of your pressure cooker (or if using an electric model, use the sauté mode).
- When the turkey is cooked, add onion and garlic. Stir.
- Add the spices, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and tomato sauce. Stir.
- Bring to pressure and cook 10 minutes.
- Allow pressure to drop on its own. Carefully open cooker.
- Serve over cooked whole wheat spaghetti (or zoodles, if you’re watching your carbs) and add optional toppings if desired. Top five-way chili with cheese, onions, and beans, Four-way with two of the three, etc.
Yield: Serves four – five
Store leftover sauce (in an airtight container) in the freezer for up to four months.
¹garam masala is a spice blend of cumin, cardaman, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper.