Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add the beef and brown well, about 10 minutes. Add the onions, chili powder, cumin, Southwest Essence, cayenne, cinnamon
, crushed red pepper
, and bay leaf
and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beer
and cook until the foam
subsides, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes
, tomato paste, salt, brown sugar, and chocolate to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Skim
off as much fat as possible. Add the beans, return to a simmer, cover, and cook until thickened, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Serve with the cheese
, green onions, and cilantro alongside as garnish.
Note: To make 6 cups cooked red kidney beans
: Soak 1 pound dried beans for 6 hours or overnight. Drain the beans and place them in a large saucepan
. Add water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer
and cook until just tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain
and set aside to cool.