Game Day Chili Mac
Chili mac is a favorite MRE (ready-to-eat meal) of United States service members — and it’s what CNN anchor Brianna Keilar is making to honor them for one of the biggest college football rivalries — the Army-Navy Game — taking place tomorrow, December 11. Boosted by warming spices, this Cincinnati-style chili dish is satisfying, filling fare for both game day and other cold nights — and quite the upgrade from an MRE pouch. You could also omit the spaghetti and make this as a topping for chili dogs.
Makes 4 servings
2 pounds ground beef
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped + 1 more for topping, chopped (optional)
5 cups beef stock
8 ounces tomato paste
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes)
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound spaghetti (1 package)
Lots of shredded medium cheddar
- In a Dutch oven or large pot, brown ground beef and 1 chopped onion, about 10 minutes. Brianna likes the ground beef to be more broken up, so she used a handheld potato masher or pastry blender to separate chunks (you can also do so with a spatula).
- Drain fat if needed.
- Add beef stock, then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, chili powder, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cocoa powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, allspice, cloves and bay leaf. Simmer — uncovered so that chili reduces — for 1 hour.
- Bring a separate pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti until al dente.
- Remove the bay leaf from the chili. Use a spoon to skim off fat if needed.
- Serve chili over spaghetti. Top with cheese and, if preferred, 1 chopped onion.