Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Empress Chili Recipe

My first recipe post, I am so excited! This is a freezer staple that I have been meaning to make and figured what a perfect opportunity to post a recipe. This recipe has a story like most of the recipes I will post. 

My parents grew up in the North College Hill area of Cincinnati, Ohio and loved their local Empress Chili. When they married and moved away my Mom sought out the recipe to make the chili at home and my family has been enjoying these beloved coney dogs and 3-ways ever since. 

I have seen many variations of this recipe but, just like all those who have posted before me, I believe this is the definitive Empress Chili recipe. For those who do not know what I am talking about this chili sauce could be likened to skyline chili. It is a bean-less chili either served over hot dogs or spaghetti with tons of cheddar cheese which is called a three-way. It is spicy so keep that in mind when serving it to kids. Now that I have kids I back off on the red cayenne pepper a bit. 

This recipe makes a ton and is best when served leftover, which make it the perfect freezer meal. I have made this with ground turkey as well and it is still great. There is so much flavor with all of the spices that I don't think you get much of a meat flavor that it matters. This has a long cooking time but I have never tried to make it in the Crock pot. Maybe next time I will try that and update my post to let you know how that goes. 

It's time make this chili and cook up some hot dogs. Trust me your husband will thank you!

1. Chop the onions & gather the other ingredients

2. Place your meat in a large pot and cover with the 5 cups of water.

3. Stir the meat in the water till it completely falls apart and looks like the photo above. There should be no lumps of meat left. (Mmm meat soup)

4. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and stir.

5. Cover & bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Cook for 3 hours.

Wha-la you now have a big pot of Empress Chili. So easy and so yummy. I store 2 cup portions in the freezer so we can enjoy anytime. 

Empress Chili
makes 2 quarts

Prep time: 5min
cook time: 3hrs

2 lbs very lean ground beef (or turkey)
5 c water
2 lg onions, small dice (food processor is great for this)
1/2 tbsp* vinegar (white distilled or apple cider)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp* ground black pepper
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp* red cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp* ground allspice
1 whole bay leaves

*1/2 tbsp = 1 1/2 tsp

It is key that the meat is completely thawed & DO NOT pre cook/brown the meat! 

In a large pot (dutch oven) pour water over meat and stir to crumble the meat. Stir in all of the remaining ingredients then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 3 hours. Stir occasionally. When chili is done remove the bay leaves. 

If you find the chili is too watery for your liking, which I often do, bring the chili back to a boil and continue to boil with the lid off until it reaches a consistency you like.

Serve over hot dogs (cone dogs) or spaghetti (3way) top with cheddar cheese.