In a large skillet, cook diced bacon over medium heat until mostly crisp. Use a slotted spatula to transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Wipe most of the grease out of the skillet, reserving about 1-2 tablespoons.
Add diced onion to the bacon grease in the skillet and cook over medium heat until softened and translucent; about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, minced jalapeno, cumin, chili powder and bay leaf. Cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute.
Stir in black beans, salsa, bacon and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until liquid is reduced.
Add a squeeze of lime juice if desired and serve hot. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and crumbled cotija cheese.
Add a garnish of cotija cheese and serve with limes for squeezing.