Place oil in skillet and brown the beef, then drain the grease.
Add rest of ingredients, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
If needed, add a little bit of flour to thicken the consistency of the filling. Salt and pepper to taste.
Roll out on a lightly floured board-1/8th inch thick. Cut with cookie cutter or glass for appetizer sized empanadas. Use a small plate for luncheon size empanadas.
On each round, put about 1/2 teaspoon filling. Fold over and flute edges with fork. Brush tops with beaten egg. Bake at 400 degrees until the crust is golden brown.
You can also deep fry these in a deep fryer or in a deep skillet with enough oil to cover them. that's the way they eat them there, but baking is lower fat! But fried is sooo good! If frying don't brush the tops with egg!