1/2 lb bacon
1 lb ground beef
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 (15.5 oz) cans of navy beans
1 (15.5 oz) can of pinto beans
1 (15.5 oz) can of red beans
1 (15.5 oz) can of butter (large lima) beans
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and set on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Drain the bacon fat from the pot, leaving about 1 tablespoon.
Add the ground beef, onion, garlic powder, and a good pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, breaking apart the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is cooked through. Drain the fat from the pot and return the ground beef mixture. Stir in the ketchup through molasses.
Add the beans to the pot, including the liquid from 1 can and draining the rest. Stir carefully. Let the mixture heat through, stirring often (carefully so as to not mush up too many beans). Crumble the bacon and return it to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust the other sauce ingredients as needed, too.
Serve immediately, or transfer to a slow cooker on low to keep warm until serving. You can also prepare a day ahead of time and then warm them up and place in a slow cooker on low or warm until serving.