Note: I often use the Chili “kits” sold at the grocery store. These have nice fresh spices and you can always adjust with your own seasonings. Most of those kits don't add weird chemicals.
8 oz. block of colby style cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 large chopped sweet onion
Coarsely grind meat, or ask butcher to do so. Brown and drain. Sauté onion, pepper, garlic, add to meat along with the seasonings. Add tomato sauce and water and simmer gently for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove bay leaf, add beans. Thicken if necessary with masa harina mixed with a little water, or use flour and water to thicken. The refried beans will thicken the chili also.
Adjust seasoning. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Serve with grated cheese (mild cheddar or Monterey Jack) and chopped sweet onion. Cornbread is great with this.