Place the beef in a pot and set over medium to medium-high heat; cook, stirring, until entirely cooked through. Drain the excess fat, then add the onions and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer, adjusting the heat until this is achieved. Loosely cover and simmer 30-40 minutes, or until the chili has thickened and is rich tasting. Remove bay leaves, adjust seasoning, and serve.