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  • Writer's pictureBobbi Jo Lathan

Bobbi Jo’s Tex-Mex Chili

Updated: Dec 31, 2023

Elk Chili and Cornbread

When I was starring in the Broadway musical, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (which I told my Grandmama Watson was called, The Best Little Warehouse In Texas…she was a very religious woman) I’d pick up the phone and tell a few friends I was cookin’ a pot of my Tex-Mex Chili on my days off. By 8PM I’d have 30 people over for supper! So, if you’re making this chili recipe, be sure you’ve got plenty of bowls and spoons!

Bobbi Jo's Tex-Mex Chili

Recipe by: Bobbi Jo Lathan

Recipe type: Entree

Cuisine: Tex-Mex


1 1-pound bag Dried pinto beans

1 jalapeño pepper (fresh and whole)

1 Smoked ham hock

1 Smoked turkey leg or thigh

1 White onion (chopped)

3 Cloves of garlic (chopped)

2 tablespoons Chili powder

3 tablespoons Ground cumin

4 teaspoons Salt

3 teaspoons Freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoon Coriander

3 tablespoons Garlic powder

3 teaspoons Mexican oregano

½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper

1 can Stewed tomatoes (15 or 16 oz.)

1 tablespoon White vinegar

2 tablespoons Olive oil

2 tablespoons Flour (sifted)

1 pound Ground sirloin or ground turkey or ground bison


  1. Soak them beans in water overnight.

  2. Next morning, pour the water off the beans into a colander.

  3. In the pot you’re gonna cook them beans in, add the olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic. Add the tomatoes, the beans and all the rest of the ingredients.

  4. Cover in water and cook at medium heat for about an hour. (The juice should have cooked down a bit)

  5. Once the beans are done, scoop out about 1½-2 cups of the bean juice into another saucepan.

  6. Heat it up and when it’s all bubbly, add the 2 tablespoons of sifted flour, a little at a time and whisk it real fast ‘til it’s thickened.

  7. Now, add that thickened bean juice back into the pot of beans.

  8. In another skillet, sauté the ground sirloin or turkey or bison ‘til browned.

  9. Pour off any fat (there shouldn’t be much at all) and add this to the beans, too.

  10. Stir it all around and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. And, baby, you got yourself some of the best Tex-Mex Chili you ever laid on your tongue! Yum!


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