Recipe courtesy of Julia Baker
Show: Sweet Julia
Episode: Just Chocolate
Cincinnati Chili
1 hr 45 min
30 min
6 to 8 servings
1 hr 45 min
30 min
6 to 8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 white onions, chopped 
  • 2 pounds ground beef (85% lean) 
  • 5 cups beef stock 
  • Two 8-ounce cans tomato sauce 
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder 
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 
  • Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 bay leaf 
Toppings and Combinations: (optional)
  • Spaghetti, cooked
  • Cheddar cheese, very finely shredded
  • White onion, chopped 
  • Canned kidney beans, warmed
  • Hot dogs
  • Hot dog buns
  • Yellow mustard


Heat a large pot over a medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and onions and stir. Add the ground beef and cook until well caramelized. Deglaze the pot with 1 cup of the beef stock. Add the remaining 4 cups stock and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce, chocolate, chili powder, vinegar, Worcestershire, cinnamon, cumin, salt, cayenne, allspice, cloves, garlic and bay leaf. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.

To create your own Cincinnati chili experience, try serving the chili in any of these combinations:

Classic 2-Way: chili and spaghetti

Classic 3-Way: chili and cheese

Classic 4-Way: add onions or kidney beans

Classic 5-Way: add onions and kidney beans

Cheese Coney: on a hot dog with yellow mustard and cheddar (onions, optional!)

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