A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 18, 2006
Pedernales River Chili (LBJ recipe)

Lyndon Baines Johnson of Texas was the 36th President of the United States, but this recipe was published when he was vice president in 1961. Pronounced “Pur-DIN-alice,” the Pedernales River chili recipe’s popularity was noted Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson, who commented that it was more popular than government pamphlets devoted to the feeding of children.


Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
MRS. LYNDON B. JOHNSON’S RECIPE FOR…
PEDERNALES RIVER 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
1-6 GENEROUS DASHES LIQUID HOT SAUCE
2 CUPS HOT WATER
SALT TO TASTE

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.

21 May 1961, Washington Post, pg. F3:
Vice President Johnson’s
Pedernales River Chili
4 pounds chili meat
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon comino seed
6 teaspoons chili powder
2 cans Ro-tel tomatoes
salt to taste
2 cups hot water
Put chili meat, onions and garlic in large heavy boiler or skillet. Sear until light colored. Add oregano, comino, chili powder, tomatoes and hot water.

14 June 1961, Ada (OK) Evening News, pg. 6:
Tried and true recipes from all parts of the world—including three from Mrs. Tom Steed, wife of Oklahoma’s fourth district congressman—are collected in the new Congressional Club cookbook published this week.
Vice President Johnson gives the ingredients for his favorite dish, Pedernales River chili, named for the stream that flows through his central Texas hill country ranch.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, October 18, 2006 • Permalink