Heat a large pot on medium heat, add the sliced bacon and cook until crispy, stirring occasionally and scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat if bacon is browning too quickly.
Add the onion, and bell pepper to the pot, stirring frequently. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Add the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds.
Add the ground beef, breaking into small pieces with a spatula, until cooked through. Strain off any accumulated liquid and fat from the pot.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the tomato paste, and dried spices, and cook until they are fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the canned tomatoes with juices, drained beans, beef broth, and bay leaf. Give it a stir.
Increase the heat to high until the chili comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
To serve, remove bay leaf. Ladle servings into individual bowls. Garnish with avocado, red onion, cheese, cilantro or any other toppings.