So my Dad totally gave me this recipe and I Paleo-ized it for you guys. How crazy is that? Pops comes through with a blog recipe! I had never even heard of Cincinnati Chili before, let alone the fact that you can make it like 5 different ways. I was also in shock that people would eat chili on top of spaghetti, weirdos. No offense if you’re from Cincinnati, I still love your spaghetti eating self. So anyway my shock quickly turned to awe and the wheels on the brain went round and round. I had to make this recipe Paleo for you guys. But first, I needed to know more about what I was dealing with. According to Wikipedia (yes, I wikied) you can order it the following ways:
Bowl: chili in a bowl
Two-way: chili and spaghetti
Three-way: chili, spaghetti, and cheese
Four-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, and onions
Five-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions, and beans
Obviously I’m not going to eat it over real spaghetti or with beans (gassy is not classy!). So I had to turn to my favorite spaghetti stand by…spaghetti squash! I think God had Paleo people and the gluten-free folks in mind when he invented the spaghetti squash. WHAT would we do without this little gem? I have no idea. It’s literally one of the most versatile ingredients in my kitchen. You can pair anything with it, I mean anything. So if you haven’t made it yet, that’s your homework assignment for the week, spaghetti squash. Pair it with whatever you’re in the mood for. Don’t worry, I’ll give you a gold star on your Paleo chart.
This whole last week Brad and I were super craving chili. I had that recipe from my Dad laying around and Brad was randomly naming off chili ingredients in his sleep, the time had come. So what did we do? Called up the neighbors and made them participate in the First Ever, Now Annual, Neighbor Chili Cook-Off Contest! Obviously. (Cue the marching band, ribbons, and southern accents.) Boy that’s a long contest name. So I got my thinking cap on and I got to work. Traditionally this recipe does not call for bacon, but come on, everything is better with bacon. I vote for bacon. BACON!
When I first tasted my Chili, I straight up did not like it. I have never had chili with chocolate before (and we all know my affection for chocolate) let alone cinnamon and allspice. It was like Christmas Chili. Some versions of this recipe even call for cloves. Say what? To say the least, I was disappointed and was for sure out of the running for Chili Champion. I let the chili sit overnight ended up eating it for breakfast. It wasn’t bad per say…(scratching my chin.) Then I ate more for dinner at the actual Chili Cook-Off and guess what? It totally grew on me. I ate even more for dinner last night and was actually sad when I polished off the rest of the leftovers. I wanted more! Go figure. So if you’ve never had Cincinnati Chili before then prepare your test-buds for the curious unknown…(get it test-buds, instead of taste-buds, because you’re testing the flavor to see if you like it…get it…get it!) You love it. You know what else I think you’re gonna love? This Paleo Cincinatti Chili, Two-Way…or Three-Way or Whatever-Way you want it! Cue Journey’s ‘Anyway You Want It‘ and get a-chili-cookin’…
Paleo Cincinnati Chili, Two-Way
1 pound grass-fed ground beef
6 slices of thick-cut bacon, diced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
1 can tomato sauce, 15-ounce
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup organic beef stock
1/2 cup Steve’s Paleochef Peach BBQ sauce
1 spaghetti squash
olive oil, for coating
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste
onion powder to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape seeds out with a spoon. Then coat the insides of the squash with olive oil. Sprinkle sea salt, pepper, and onion powder on top. Flip both sides face down onto the foil lined baking sheet and cook for 60 minutes. Let cool.
2. Once cool, over a large bowl, run a fork down the middle of the squash to remove the insides into the large bowl. Then sprinkle sea salt, pepper, and onion powder and toss lightly. Set aside while you make the chili.
3. In a large pan over medium-high heat, saute the ground beef, bacon, onions, garlic and chili powder until the beef and bacon are almost cooked. Then add the cocoa powder, sea salt, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, red cayenne pepper and stir until combined. Then add the can of tomato sauce, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, beef stock, and Paleochef peach bbq sauce. Stir together, reduce heat, and let simmer uncovered for 1.5 hours.
4. Once the chili is finished, ladle it over a plate of spaghetti squash and garnish with toppings of your choice.
*Makes 9 servings
1/4 cup maple sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup coconut milk, full fat, room temperature
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons grass-fed butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup palm shortening
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Generously grease a brownie pan with butter.
2. Add the eggs, maple sugar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor and process for 10 seconds. Then add the coconut flour, baking soda, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar and process again until combined. Then add the cold butter, and palm shortening and pulse until mixed. Some butter chunks left are fine.
3. Use a spoon to transfer the cornbread batter into the brownie pan squares. My batter yielded enough to fill 9 of the 12 squares. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
I recommend preparing and cooking your chili first, then while it’s simmering for the 1.5 hours, prepare first the spaghetti squash and then the cornbread. The timing should work perfect for a nice hot meal.
SO I know you are all DYING to know who won the Chili Cook-Off. Ironically enough no one did. We all didn’t like each others chili. Hahaha. Who does that? Us. Brad’s tasted like canned chili and the neighbors tasted like Tabasco sauce, and they were new as well to the Cincinnati flavor and decided they wanted something more traditional, so mine was out. It was a no win situation. Except secretly I did win because I got all the leftovers and fell in love with a new chili style! Boom. Victory is mine.