Brown meat—do not kill it—it keeps cooking in the chili. Drain grease, reserving 1 or 2 tablespoons for sweating the onions. Sweat onions in the reserved grease. When onions are opaque, add meat, chili beans and tomatoes, crushing them by hand in the pot (do not use crushed tomatoes, whole are much better). Add chili powder, cumin, sugar and peppers.
Cook slowly over low heat for 2 hours. Add the reserved tomato juice as needed. Just before serving, add chopped cilantro. You can serve with grated cheddar cheese. Chili is always better after a night in the fridge.