Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Doug Ferguson’s Cincinnati Chili

Doug Ferguson’s Cincinnati Chili


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 3 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt (1 at the beginning and add more to taste later)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (you can and should add more later to taste)
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 9 ounces tomato paste (1 1/2, 6 oz cans – a bit of a waste, I know)
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Add the beef to large pot and cover with water. Break it up with a fork until the meat breaks up into small pieces.
  2. Bring to a simmer and add all your ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce to a simmer and let is bubble for at least 2 hours. Adjust your seasoning to your liking.
  4. You may continue to reduce the mixture for as much as another hour. You want to get it so it’s not running a clear liquid out from a slotted spoon. It needs to be one, saucy product.
  5. You can also add a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and I’ve seen recipes using beef broth which I’ve tried before, but I would avoid recipes that suggest you add crushed tomatoes, diced onion or garlic. I don’t think you want those textures messing with the fine grain of the meat.
  6. Add garlic powder for more or less flavor to your liking.
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 hours
  • Total time: 3 hour & 30 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Categories: Heirloom Recipes

Tags: doug ferguson, Heirloom Meals Radio, heirloom recipe, cincinnati chili, chili