Bruce Baker loved to cook.
And that love of cookery was clearly bestowed upon his three sons, as they are all great cooks and huge lovers of food.
I love when His Lordship cooks his recipes.
There is one recipe of his that I often crave—I’ve dubbed it the “Bruce Baker Special.”
This is not that recipe.
This recipe is one that His Lordship often craves—Cincinnati chili.
I’ve had a lot of chili in my lifetime (insert all the fart jokes here), but Cincinnati chili was one I wasn’t privy to. When I was told that there was a family recipe, I asked for it. Upon reading the email, the dish looked pretty simple.
‘Cincinnati Chili is just meat, a minced onion, and a clove of garlic…okay… ’
As I read further, I realized that it was as if I was having a conversation with him about how to make said chili.
‘It’s served over pasta! Something so new to me! It’s like fancy bolognese!’
I never met the man behind this recipe.
And though it saddens me, it brings me great joy to cook his food.
So here it is, exactly as Bruce wrote it.
(Because if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Amirite?)
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Bruce Baker’s Cincinnati Chili
1 Lb of beef, pork and lamb. Can also use veal instead of pork or lamb (I put all 4 meats in recently)
1 cup of chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic( optional)
In a large frying pan or pot, saute(med-low) onions and garlic in olive oil. Then add meat. After meat is brown (drain excess fluid if needed), add following:
2 Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder, 3 Tbsp of chili powder, 1 Tbsp of cumin, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and stir in…….don’t worry about the exact amounts of spices, I vary depending on how much wine I have had……….
Add a large can of plum tomatoes…..throw in juice. Add a small can of tomato paste and medium can of tomato sauce, add 2Tbsp of red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp honey, 1/4 cup red wine(optional) I usually add a 1/4 cup of red wine and sometimes chop a whole tomato and throw that in
Add salt and pepper to taste and let cook for on low for 1 hour. See below about cooking ahead of time
Cook a 1 Lb of linguine and serve with the sauce on the pasta.
You can sprinkle each serving with grated Monterey jack or what I prefer, parmesan cheese.
Also, for those that like onions, add a little chopped spring onion on top with cheese.
If you have the time, this sauce is always better if you make it the day before. If that is not possible, make sauce and turn off for a couple hours and reheat.