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Mell Family Favorite: Old Settler’s Beans

February is our month to celebrate connecting with others in friendship and love. We decided to give our culinary team the month off post-holiday season and offer a family favorite that is so flavorful, comforting and guaranteed to bring family and friends together. This easy dish is perfect for a snowy day! While it isn’t exactly “health” food, it is a Mell Family staple at every picnic and get-together. Mary discovered the recipe when her sister, Theresa, was studying dental hygiene at Allegheny College. Ever since then, it has been Mary’s signature dish. When Perri asked her to make it recently, she decided to share the recipe with everyone. This dish will not disappoint!


  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/3 lb. brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup barbeque sauce
  • 2 Tbs. prepared mustard
  • 1 can pork and beans
  • 1/2 lb. chopped bacon
  • 2 Tbs. molasses
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can butter beans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, brown the ground beef and bacon. Drain fat. Add brown and white sugars, molasses, chili powder, ketchup, salt, barbeque sauce, pepper, mustard and beans. Mix thoroughly. Pour into a baking or casserole dish. Bake for one hour until hot and yummy! Serve with corn bread, rice or just by itself. Wait for the oohs and aahs from your family and friends.


(NOTE: You can transfer the completed dish into a low temp crock pot to keep it warm for parties and pot lucks.)