Quick soak method for beans: Cover beans with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, let stand 1 hour. Drain.
Place pinto beans in a large pot with water and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a steady boil and cook until tender, about 1 hour.
In the meantime, heat a 12-inch non-stick pan over medium heat. When hot but not smoking, add onions and cook, stirring often until they begin to soften. Add 2 tablespoons of the bean cooking water and cook until the onions are softened, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the ground chuck and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the meat is brown and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in paprika, thyme, chili powder, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Pour into pot with beans and stir. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until flavors have come together and beans are tender and cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
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