Although I will gladly "play the part" of a Texan opposed to ground beef and beans (just to irritate people
), the fact of the matter is that when I make it at home, I usually use ground beef, and I add beans about half the time. I often start with a little bacon grease to brown the meat.
I sometimes use lean stew meat and cut into smaller chunks, just for variety, but I never mix chunks and ground beef. I guess I just don't like the "inconsistency".
I shy away from the "chili grinds" in the stores; I've had some bad experiences in the past with big chunks of gristle in those.