The canned seasoned black beans recently went up to as much for a can as for a pound of uncooked, dry black beans--which are approximately equivalent to four cans of beans.
So...I've been getting the dry beans, and making my own seasoned beans for chili. It starts with the pre-soak: my sister gave me a tip that I'm going to pass along for those who don't know it.
For every 1 cup of dry, sorted beans, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda, cover with water, and warm to just about bathwater-warm. Take it off the heat, cover it, and let it set overnight. When you're ready to cook your beans, drain and rinse, then put back in the pan, add about 1/3 cup of dried, minced or chopped onions, about 1 lightly rounded teaspoon of minced garlic (about 4 cloves, fresh), and about six or eight cups of water. Bring to a boil, and skim off the foam. Cook for about half an hour, then start testing the tenderness of the beans.
Once they're about as done as you want in your chili, salt to taste, then drain them. Make your chili (about 2 lb hamburger meat, 2 cans Ro-Tel, 2 cans tomato sauce, and about 1/2 to 2/3 cup chili seasoning), and let it simmer for a bit. Then, add the beans back in, and simmer for about five to fifteen more minutes to warm them back up, and get some of the flavor worked in.
It's tastier than the canned variety, cheaper, and all it takes is a little pre-planning.
26 minutes ago