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.
Makes about 5 quarts, 12 entree-size servings
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.