Brown the beef in a 6 qt saucepan over medium heat. As the meat is browning, add the chopped onion and green pepper
Drain and rinse the beans, then add to the meat and vegetables in the saucepan. Stir together
Add the tomato paste, tomato puree and tomato sauce. If you are using the diced tomatoes, add them too. Stir all ingredients together, continuing on medium heat.
Add the spices: the black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder and cumin. Sometimes I will also add a TBSP of hot sauce as well. Stir everything until well mixed. Turn heat to low, add the bayleaf, and cover. Simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice, or with cornbread, and some shredded chedder cheese on top of each serving. The spices can be adjusted to taste and the hot sauce is optional.