Mrs. LBJ’s Pedernales River Chili

  • Yield servings

If you can stand the heat, get into the kitchen—and enjoy Lady Bird Johnson's Texas chili!


4 pounds chili meat (coarsely-ground round steak or well-trimmed chuck)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon comino seed
6 teaspoons chili powder (or more, if needed)
1 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes
2 to 6 generous dashes liquid hot sauce
2 cups hot water
Salt to taste


  1. Place meat, onion and garlic in large, heavy pan or dutch oven. Cook until light in color. Add oregano, comino seed, chili powder, tomatoes, hot pepper sauce, salt and hot water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 1 hour. Skim off fat during cooking.

–Recipe courtesy of the National Archives. Ingredients, measurements and instructions remain accurate to historical records.



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