For the chili: In the bottom of a large pot, season the ground beef with 4 teaspoons salt and 4 teaspoons pepper and cook until thoroughly browned. Do not crowd the bottom of the pan. Remove the beef and cook the onions, carrots and celery in the remaining fat until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute before adding the browned beef, chocolate, bay leaves, sugar, paprika, cumin, coriander, oregano, cayenne, tomato paste, beer, water, and vinegar. Cook for half an hour. Season to taste.
For the French fries: Cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch thick strips. Soak overnight in water. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 325 degrees F. Drain and spin dry the potatoes. Add to fryer and cook 5 minutes. Drain on a rack and bring the oil up to 400 degrees F. Fry until golden brown and crispy. Ladle the hot chili over the fries. Top with cheese and a sprinkle of red onions. Serve immediately.;
Recipe courtesy Brook Howell and Erik Cho, Frysmith Truck