The Houston Chronicle has an article about one guy's quest for the perfect chili here. Sounds pretty good and pretty easy. Recipe copied here in case the article expires: Chronicle kitchen-tested recipe.
Freezes well. Can be thinned to use as enchilada gravy. Also good on tamales, or in an omelet with grated cheese.
• 2 large onions, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves
• Canola oil (just enough to coat pan)
• 2 pounds lean chili-grind beef
• 2 packets Williams Original Chili Seasoning
• 1 Wick Fowler's 2-Alarm Chili Kit (omit salt packet; reserve masa packet)
• 2 tablespoons ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons each: mild, medium and hot ground red chili powder
• 2 (28-ounce) cans Hunt's crushed tomatoes• 1 small (6-ounce) can tomato paste
• 56 ounces water (use 2 tomato cans to measure)
Roughly chop onion or pulse briefly in food processor. Peel and mince garlic cloves.
Coat the bottom of a heavy, 6-quart (or larger) pot with canola oil. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent; do not burn.
Add beef, stirring to brown on all sides. Add Williams seasoning packets and Wick Fowler's seasonings, omitting salt packet and reserving masa packet. Stir in cumin and the three ground red chili powders, blending well. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and water, stirring to blend. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer with the lid on.
After 30 minutes, add warm water to the reserved masa packet to make a smooth paste; stir into chili and simmer at least an hour more. The longer it simmers, the better it gets.
Makes 6 or more servings.