Working out has been so much easier since the school year ended in June. I’m pretty good during the school year about going to the gym regularly (pack your bags (and a snack) before work and go directly there, that’s the secret!) but my workouts are usually a struggle after a long day’s work. Morning workouts for me are so much better. I’ve got more energy, have more time to get in enough strength and cardio, and I don’t feel like I’m spending precious free time at the gym. I need the gym during the school year to keep me sane and feeling good, but man, I feel like it takes up a huge chunk of my evening! By the time I workout, get home and cleaned up, and cook dinner, it’s already 8pm and I’ve got no time/ energy for much else. C’est la healthy vie, I guess!
Anyhow, I’ve had some awesome killer workouts lately. I’m just loving it. But hand in hand with great exercise comes the need for great nutrition. This family baked bean recipe has been on my mind lately, and, with my body craving protein, I knew it was time to blog it!
Let’s get to the beans first; I’m sure that title is what suckered you into reading thus far into the post! This recipe was originally from our neighbors years and years ago, the D’Asta family, who has since continued to be some of our closest friends. We LOVE them, and not just for their bean savvy. Ever since being gifted this amazing recipe, my mom has prolifically produced these beans on countless occasions to much applause, them being labeled “Ann’s Beans” in our family circle. I’m telling you, they’re just that good!
That being said, I made a couple minor changes. The beans in their original recipe are very sweet – for the purpose of this blog and keeping things healthy, I cut the sugar in half. The original recipe also calls for ground beef in addition to bacon. I decided to cut the beef to make it healthier, and anyways with the pork we’ve already got protein overload going on here! I didn’t notice much of a difference with these two changes, still the same old spectacular beans I’ve stalked at family gatherings all my life.
Ok, the pork tenderloin. The key to an amazing, melt-in-your-mouth pork tenderloin is first, that it’s room temperature before you cook it, second, a good sear, and third, using your meat thermometer. Once that pork reaches 130F in the oven you have to take it out, put on a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Such an amazing piece of meat! The mojo de ajo is simple and the perfect pairing both with the meat and the sweet beans – it’s amazing on other proteins too! Mojo de ajo shrimp tacos maybe??
Pork Tenderloin Mojo de Ajo & the Best Baked Beans of Your LifePrint Recipe
- 1 14oz can canelinni beans
- 1 14oz can butter beans
- 1 10oz can Campbells pork and beans
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 strips thick bacon
- One medium vidalia sweet onion, diced
- 2-3 lbs pork tenderloin, room temperature
- 4 tbsp corn starch
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp diced fresh Parsley
- Juice of 1 orange, about 1/2 cup
First, prepare the beans. Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large dutch oven over medium high heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove when finished onto a plate with a paper towel.
Lower the heat to medium. When bacon grease has cooled slightly, add the diced onion to the pot. cook for 5 - 7 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping up bits from bottom of the pan. Add the cans of beans and "pork and beans", the ketchup, mustard, and sugar. Chop the bacon and add to the pot. Stir to combine. Cover and bake for 1 hour.
When the beans have been baking for about 30 minutes, begin the pork tenderloin. In a cast iron skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium high heat. On a cookie sheet, mix corn starch, 1 1/2 tsp salt and pepper and lay in a flat layer. Roll the tenderloins in this mixture to coat all sides. When pan is very hot, place the pork tenderloin in the pan. rotate ever 3-4 minutes or as sides have a nice brown sear.
Once all sides are seared nicely, Move pork to a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake in oven for 10 - 15 minutes depending on the thickness of your tenderloins.
After 10 minutes, check with your meat thermometer to see the internal temperature. Once it has reached 130F, remove from oven, set on a cutting board, and allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting.
Once your pork tenderloin has been put in the oven, turn the heat on your cast iron skillet down to medium low. When pan has cooled slightly, add the garlic and olive oil and cook for 5 minutes, scraping up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the red pepper flakes and parsley and cook for 10 seconds. Add the orange juice and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced. Remove from heat and allow to cool as pork finishes cooking and resting.
When the beans come out of the oven, Spoon onto a plate. Slice pork about 1 - 1.5 inches thick. Serve alongside beans, top with mojo de ajo.