This recipe isn’t looking like such a secret, but it was so good that it shouldn’t be! I did a quick search to see where the Pedernales River was and discovered, President Lyndon B. Johnson loved this recipe so much that Lady Bird had it printed on cards and distributed…now that I know of it, I see it all over the web with only one small change, Great-Grandma Mary’s seems to be a smaller ½ batch.
Great-Grandma Mary’s version also says, “Serve over beans.” I say, “Why make a separate dish? Double the spices. Throw those beans in the pot and let’s go!”
Pedernales River Chili
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp chili powder or more to taste
1 (1-lb) can of tomatoes
salt to taste
1 cup hot water
optional: beans, I used white beans. Most any will do. (1 or 2 14 oz cans) Don’t forget to increase the spices with the beans.
Add meat, onion and garlic over medium heat in a large skillet and cook until browned and crumbly.
Add spices, stir well.
Stir in tomatoes and hot water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
Add the beans towards the end and adjust seasonings at that time.
Start Chopping…and then get those in the pan for a quick saute.
Then add the meat and let it brown.
Add everything else to the pan and let it simmer.