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Mrs. LBJ’s Texas Chili Recipe

“Chili concocted outside of Texas is usually a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing. One of the first things I do when I get home to Texas is to have a bowl of red. There is simply nothing better.”
– Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States

Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 1 hour and 15 minutes | Servings: 6-8

Pedernales River Chili


  • 4 pounds of coarse ground lean round steak or chuck
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 6 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon comino (cumin) seed
  • 2-6 shakes of liquid hot sauce
  • salt, to taste


In a large, heavy pot, add the meat, garlic and onion and cook until meat is browned. Stir remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour. Skim off fat if necessary during cooking.

Photo below is of Lady Bird Johnson’s recipe card for Pedernales River Chili from the LBJ Library at The University of Texas.

LBJ's Favorite Chili

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