To be honest, I have not eaten real Skyline in at least 20 years. When they began serving Black Beans and Rice as an alternative to their beef chili, I switched to that and have never looked back. This recipe is pretty close to how Skyline smells and I’ve had some carnivores taste test it. The only thing not duplicated is the fine texture of the beef. I prefer the chunkier chili, however I suppose you could pulse it through a food processor if you really wanted to duplicate the fine grind of Skyline.
The most time consuming part of this recipe is measuring all of the spices. That is why I mix a big batch and measure it out for each preparation. This reduces the prep time significantly. For me from about 1 hour to 15 minutes (plus time to simmer). A bonus of this method is the ability to adjust the spiciness of each batch of chili (ie. add more or less to your personal preference). When measuring the spices for one batch of chili, it creates just about 4 tablespoons. So multiply the spice mix recipe by how ever many batches of chili you want and then measure out 3 1/2 – 4 tbsp for each preparation. MyKitchenCalculator.com has a handy calculator to easily multiply measurements. However, there are 3 teaspoons in 1 tablespoon (in case you didn’t know).
Skyline Spice Mix
*for one batch of chili*
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder (baking variety)
Mix all dry spices together. Use immediately in chili recipe or store in an airtight container in a cool dark place.
Skyline Chili Recipe
1 tbsp oil (I prefer ghee)
1 large Onion finely chopped (you may even prefer to chop in a food processor for a more authentic chili)
1 package veggie grounds (I prefer Quorn because they are soy-free) = 1 lb ground meat
15 oz. tomato sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (or soy sauce)
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
3/4 cup water or veggie broth (more if needed)
3 1/2 – 4 tbsp spice mix (see above)
Remove grounds from freezer to begin to defrost. Heat oil in large sauce pan on Med-low heat. Saute onion for a few minutes. Just before it begins to turn translucent add the grounds. DO NOT COVER. The trick to cooking veggie grounds is letting them dry out. Otherwise they get mushy. As the grounds cook, break apart the frozen chunks and stir with the onions. Let the grounds brown and dry, but avoid burning. This takes about 10 minutes. Add tomato sauce, worcestershire, apple cider vinegar, and spices. Stir in water or broth. Allow sauce to simmer for at least 20 minutes on low heat. Add more water as needed to reach the preferred consistency.
Serve over spaghetti noodles with lots of finely shredded mild cheddar cheese. Chopped onions, kidney beans, oyster crackers and hot sauce are optional.