Cincinnati chili is a mixture of ground beef, onions, garlic, tomato sauce, broth, seasonings, and spices...including chili powder, chipotle pepper, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, and unsweetened cocoa. It's simmered until thick and fragrant, then served over spaghetti with kidney beans, diced onion, and shredded cheese (that's called a "five-way").
I've actually eaten Cincinnati chili at Skyline, the chain most famous for this regional recipe. And, I have to say...and I don't mean to brag...this is so much better!
slightly adapted from The Kitchnserves 2-4
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 chipotle pepper in adobe, diced
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
15-ounces tomato sauce
1 cup chicken or beef broth
1/2 cup water
Heat a large, heavy frying pan with a tablespoon or so of olive oil over medium high heat and when hot add the beef, minced onion and garlic, and chili powder. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes. Cook for about eight minutes or until the meat is browned.
In a separate bowl combine the cocoa, cinnamon, allspice, cumin, and salt. Add to the meat and stir fry for another couple minutes until fragrant.
Add the bay leaves, chipotle pepper, Worcestershire, vinegar, tomato sauce, broth and water. Turn heat to low and simmer for an hour, or until thickened.
Serve over spaghetti with minced onion, hot kidney beans, and cheddar cheese.