I think that this recipe came from my Mom's best friend, Roxanne, but I absolutely don't remember. If so, Hi, Roxanne (and Heidi!), thanks! This is my go-to recipe for BBQs, family gatherings of any sort and just about any time that we grill anything. It is just as easy to triple or even quadruple this recipe, so it works great for large gatherings.
I almost always double the recipe, because these beans are amazing reheated, but you can also halve the ingredients to make a smaller portion. For the doubled recipe: 1 lb. ground beef, 1 package bacon (preferably center cut), 1 onion, 2 cans kidney beans, 2 cans pork & beans, 1 can baby butter beans, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 1 cup ketchup.
Cook the package of bacon. Don't worry too much about placement because you are going to crumble it all anyway. Cook until the desired done-ness. I hate super crispy bacon, so I cook mine until barely crispy. Remember, you are going to bake these later, so don't stress about whether or not it is completely cooked.
Remove from pan and let it drain on a paper towel to remove some of the excess grease. Let cool while you brown the onion and ground beef.
Chop one onion.
Add it to 1 lb. ground beef. Break up the beef with a fork or wooden spoon. I drained the grease out of the same pan that I cooked the bacon in just to save me from washing an extra dish later. Lazy, I know, but it works.
While the ground beef is cooking, you need to drain the kidney and butter beans. You do not need to drain the pork & beans, but I accidentally added them in here. No worries, but you don't need to.
Grab a dish to cook your beans in. I used a round CorningWare thing, but you can just as easily use a 9" x 13" pan. Drain your ground beef and onion mixture. Add to the pan that you are going to bake your beans in. Add the drained beans, 1 c. sugar, 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar and 1 c. ketchup. Mix well.
Once mixed, crumble the bacon on top. What? It doesn't look like the whole package? No way! I did not make myself a BLT, well, maybe I kinda did. Moving on...
Mix in the crumbled bacon and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
And now you have Calico Beans. Ta-Daaa!! Like I said, these reheat really well and I have never ever thrown away a single bean. Try these with ham & potato salad, grilled hamburgers, BBQ chicken, or just about anything you can imagine. When I was pregnant with Breuklyn I ate these with Arby's roast beef sandwiches. I don't recommend that. Enjoy!