Lady Bird Johnson’s Pedernales Chili

  • Serves

    makes 12 Cups


President Lyndon B. Johnson's wife, Lady Bird, used to share this classic cowboy chili recipe freely with her guests.


  • 4 lb. chili meat (beef chuck ground through the chili plate of a meat grinder or cut into 1/4" dice)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 12 cups canned whole tomatoes and their liquid
  • 2-6 generous dashes of liquid hot sauce
  • Salt


Step 1

Sauté the meat, onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until lightly colored. Add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, tomatoes, hot sauce, and 2 cups hot water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for about 1 hour. Skim off the fat while cooking. Salt to taste.

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