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Pedernales River Chili

This is the chili that was always cooked at the LBJ Ranch in Texas. It was a favorite of Lyndon B. Johnson. He ate this with saltine crackers and a glass of ice cold milk.


  • 4 pounds coarsely-ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
  • 6 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans tomatoes
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 cups hot water


  1. Put the meat, onion and garlic in a large pot and sear until light brown.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
  3. Let cool, then refrigerate.
  4. Skim the congealed fat from the top.
  5. Reheat the chili to serve.

Serves 12.

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