Cincinnati-Style Greek-American Chili
Begin this recipe 2 days before you plan to serve the chili. Soak the kidney beans overnight and prepare the chili the day before serving; refrigerate it overnight for a better marriage of flavors.
1 Pound (2 cups) dried red kidney beans
One 4-ounce chunk salt pork
1 cup dry red wine
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried summer savory
1 onion, stuck with 2 whole cloves
2 tablespoons powdered pure chili, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 yellow onions, minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 pounds coarsely ground lean beef, preferably top round
Two 38-ounce cans whole Italian tomatoes, with juice
2 beef bouillon cubes
To make the beans: Rinse and pick through the beans to remove any stones. Add the beans to a large pot of boiling water and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let soak overnight.
The next day, blanch the salt pork in simmering water for 10 minutes; drain. Add the wine to the beans and enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Place the pot over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer. Gently stir in the garlic, dill, oregano, and savory. Bury the onion and salt pork in the center of the beans. Cover and gently simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until tender. Set aside.
To make the chili: Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind the powdered chili, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seed, ginger, mustard, nutmeg, and oregano together; set aside.
In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until it begins to sizzle. Stir in the onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onion turns golden. Stir in the green pepper, salt, and ground spice mixture and sauté 2 minutes longer. Add the ground beef and stir to break up any clumps. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the beef is no longer pink. Add the tomatoes and their juice; crush the tomatoes while stirring them in. Bring the chili back to a simmer.
Transfer 2 cups of the bean broth to a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Dissolve the bouillon cubes in the liquid and return it to the chili pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Simmer the chili at least 2 and preferably 4 hours, adding more water as necessary. Remove the pot from heat and let cool; cover and refrigerate the chili overnight. The next day, reheat the chili and serve.
Makes 6 servings.
Source of Recipe: Rock and Roll Diner Cookbook