Thursday, September 29, 2016

Slow Cooker Cincinnati Beef Chili

My husband and I are not natives of Pittsburgh, PA.  We moved here in the early 1990's.  He is from Wisconsin while I am from the Philippines originally. It is delightful for us to hear stories, customs, ways of saying things and serving dishes unique to Pittsburgh. We had the opportunity to have this experience when we listened to native Pittsburghers, Joe and Kevin together with their wives A and Bernie swap stories of their childhood during the 250 Club banquet we attended.  Joe particularly recounted how they ate certain foods growing up.  For example he used to dig out the dough from crusty bread so he can stuff more meatballs into them.  Kevin mentioned a certain pizza parlor that served cold pizza.  There is one story that intrigued me and that is how Joe's family made their chili.  To bulk it up to feed 8 children, his mother added elbow macaroni.  He thought all chilis were made with this pasta. He was surprised to know when he started traveling to other parts of the country they lacked those little noodles.

I googgled for a recipe of chili with elbow macaroni and ended on this website which gave four versions of a basic chili by adding ingredients that represent the different regions of the world. One of the versions is the Cincinnati Beef Chili.  I have heard of it when I stopped by an airport in Ohio but never had it.  Neither have I had the Pittsburgh version with the macaroni.  I decided to try the Cincinnati Beef Chili in the website since it is served with elbow macaroni on the side which is close enough to what I envisioned what Joe's mother prepared for him as a child.  The other ingredients that made me curious to try this chili are the white vinegar and cinnamon.  And so I prepared it.  I made it convenient by using my slow cooker.  Here is the recipe. By the way my picky taster, my husband, gave it two thumb up.  Try something different next time you make chili and use this recipe.  Delicious.

Slow Cooker Cincinnati Beef Chili

  • 1 lb (or less) lean ground beef 
  • 2 tsp dry onion flakes
  • 2 tsp dry garlic flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste,
  • 1 can ( 15 oz) light red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 oz)  black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 canful (15 oz) water
  • 1 beef boullion
  • 1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 cups cooked elbow macaroni, add at end of cooking.

Saute the ground beef with the dry onion flakes and dry onion garlic flakes, salt and pepper.  Transfer into the slow cooker bowl.  Add the other ingredients except the cooked elbow macaroni and mix.  Slow cook for 6 hours at low or 3 hours at high.  I slow cooked mine  for  2 hours using Aroma Brand rice cooker/slow cooker using slow cooker setting.

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