Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet.
Add onion and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add tomato, green pepper, a pinch of salt and pepper, and jalapeño.
Cook for 1 minutes, stirring constantly.
Lower the heat, cover, and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from pan. Set aside.
Add remaining oil to the pan.
Return flame to medium heat.
Add ground beef, salt, and pepper. Break up the meat with your spatula. Cook until no longer pink.
Drain excess fat.
Add pinto beans, tomato and pepper mixture, garlic, cumin, paprika, thyme, Knorr bouillon, water, and laurel leaves.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Top with cilantro and cheese, if using.
Serve with tortillas.