Mess Hall: Hearty Meat and Bean Chili

Hearty Meat and Bean Chili

In the heart of the Midwest, we recently got some unexpected cold weather sweep through. I often find myself during these times immersed in deep conversations, trusty cigar in hand, over the real problems in life. The topic this time? A debate as old as the weather itself – the true identity of chili. Is it a soup, a stew, or perhaps an entity of its own. Regardless of your stance on this grand philosophical question, one thing remains certain – everyone has their unique take on chili. Let me share with you my perspective on crafting a Hearty Meat and Bean Chili, a perfect combination for those cold nights.


Hearty Meat and Chili Ingredients

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 2 15 oz cans of black beans, one drained
  • 2 15 oz of kidney beans, one drained
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ¼ tsp of black pepper


1. Start by heating a cast iron skillet up to medium-high and adding a Tbsp of olive oil. Throw in your diced onions and cook until they are nice and sauteed, about 10 minutes. Then add the ground beef and cook until browned.

2. Add your chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to the onions and ground beef in the skillet and stir until well mixed. Turn the heat off.

3. Then, in a nice deep pot, throw in your kidney beans, black beans, and diced tomatoes. Also add your tomato paste, take the tomato paste can, fill with water, and add to the chili. Turn heat on to medium-low.

4. Next take the seasoned beef and onions and add them to the pot with the tomatoes and beans. Stir well and let sit for about 40 minutes to one hour. Then add whatever chili toppings you enjoy, sour cream, cheese, Fritos chips, etc.

Pairing: The My Father’s La Gran Oferta

Also note that chili is like the all-American canvas of experimenting with food. Add chipotle peppers to give it a smoky heat, or peanut butter for a sweeter and creamier chili. You can add cocoa powder or cinnamon, the list goes on! Whichever way you take your chili, for an exceptional chili experience, pair it with My Father’s La Gran Oferta. This cigar has a Nicaraguan filler and binder, enveloped in a Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The wrapper’s dark reddish tint and oily texture sets the stage for a luxurious smoking experience.

The notes of black pepper and gritty earth in the cigar harmonize with the chili, while contrasts of dark chocolate, espresso beans, and floral undertones create a symphony of flavors. A full-bodied cigar like this is an excellent choice for chili cook-offs and cold windy days. Enjoy the rich interplay of savory chili and the robust, complex flavors of My Father’s La Gran Oferta for a pairing that elevates both experiences.