Pork Tenderloin and Bacon with Stewed White Beans


by: Xeno

Today many of the best barbecue restaurants stake their reputations on pork. In places like Memphis and Kansas City, ribs rule. In the Carolinas and other parts of the South, pulled pork is the specialty. You will find barbecued or grilled pork dishes in just about every great restaurant in America. The reason goes beyond patriotism. Pork just tastes great on the grill.


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serves: 4-6

2 teaspoons fennel seed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)

12 slices thinly sliced bacon (about 3/4 pound)

1/4 cup lightly packed torn fresh basil leaves


4 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 pound, cored)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes [optional]

2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed

Nutrition Facts
Pork Tenderloin and Bacon with Stewed White Beans

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 916

  • Total Fat: 48.9 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 14.8 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 161.3 mg
  • Sodium: 2417.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 49.8 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 12.5 g
  •     Sugars: 3.1 g
  • Protein: 71.3 g

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1.  In a small skillet over low heat, toast the fennel seed until the aroma is apparent, 3 to 5 minutes, shaking the skillet occasionally. Crush the fennel seed in a spice grinder or on a cutting board by grinding the seeds under a heavy pan. In a small bowl, combine the fennel with the salt and pepper.

2.  Trim any excess fat and silver skin from the tenderloins:

3.  The first step is to remove the sinewy layer on the surface called silver skin.

4.  Slip the tip of a sharp, thin knife under one end of the silver skin.

5.  Grab the loosened end with your fingertips. Then slide the knife away from you just underneath the silver skin.

6.  Continue cutting away from you, with the knife blade angled slightly upwards.

7.  The "cleaned" tenderloins should have hardly any visible silver skin or surface fat.

8.  For great flavor, make a paste of oil, garlic, herbs, lemon zest, and spices. Press it into the meat before grilling.

9.  Cut the tenderloins into pieces about 1 1/2 inches long. Season them with the fennel mixture. Gently press down on each piece to form a disc the same thickness as the width of the bacon. Wrap a piece of bacon around each piece of pork and secure with a toothpick. The bacon should overlap at the ends by no more than 1 inch. Allow to stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before grilling.

10.  To prepare the beans: Grill the tomatoes over Direct Medium heat until the skins are loosened, 6 to 8 minutes, turning occasionally. Cut the tomatoes into 1-inch chunks. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil, then cook the onion, garlic, and pepper flakes until softened, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and beans, stir to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper. When the beans come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

11.  Grill the pork over Direct Medium heat until the pork is barely pink in the center and the bacon is fully cooked, 12 to 15 minutes, turning once [if flare-ups occur, move the pork temporarily to Indirect Medium heat]. Add the basil to the beans. Serve the pork warm with the beans.

Cooks' note:
The fattiness of bacon has a tendency to flare-up, so use just enough to wrap around each piece of tenderloin once, overlapping the ends by one inch or less. I like the bacon crisp, so after searing the tenderloin on the cut sides, I roll the bacon directly on the grate.

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