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Grilled Pork Tenderloin

If you like to entertain at home a lot, one-pot meals are a girl's best friend in my opinion - diamonds are a close second.

While not exactly one pot, this recipe is close enough because a key part of it, the flageolet beans, must be made ahead - 2 days to be exact so plan accordingly.

You might be tempted to use canned beans and that's okay if you're seriously pressed for time and you choose a quality brand like this one - this is about boosting your love of gatherings, not squashing it. But with that said, I HIGHLY recommend taking the steps to use the dried beans for this recipe and I love the Rancho Gordo brand.

Once the beans are soaking and the pork is marinating, you can focus on pulling the other elements of this yummy dinner together. I recommend a big loaf of crusty bread - get the good stuff, and a heaping green salad - perhaps with pears or nectarines to cut the richness of the main dish. 

For an appetizer, you can whip up these slow-baked tomatoes for an easy twist on bruschetta and omit the need to add tomatoes to the main dish - just spoon it on as a tasty garnish. And of course, you'll need a signature cocktail. I think the maple syrup in this one is a nice complement to the pork or if you're looking for something lighter try this one.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Creamy Flageolet Beans, Cherry Tomatoes & Tarragon

Serves 8

  • 1 pound dried flageolet beans
  • 1/2 large onion, root end intact
  • 1 large carrot, in 4 pieces
  • 1 large celery rib, in 4 pieces
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • -- Kosher or sea salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • Pork
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup kosher or sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely cracked black peppercorns
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 quarts boiling water
  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 1 1/3 pounds each
  • -- Extra virgin olive oil

Two days ahead: Soak the beans overnight in water to cover generously.

One day ahead: Drain and transfer the beans to a large pot. Add 2 1/2 quarts cold water. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat, skimming any foam. Add the onion, carrot, celery, whole garlic cloves and thyme sprigs. Cover partially and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the beans are tender, 45-60 minutes, adding water and cooking longer, if necessary. Season with salt. Let the beans cool in the broth. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

To finish the beans: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cherry tomatoes and season with salt. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until they soften slightly. Do not let them collapse.

Drain the beans, reserving the broth and discarding the onion, carrot, celery and thyme sprigs. Add the beans to the pot along with enough of the bean broth to moisten them well. Stir in the tarragon and season with salt. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes to blend the flavors, adding more broth if necessary. The beans should be creamy, but not soupy. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

If possible, let cool for a couple of hours or refrigerate overnight. Reheat to serve, stirring in the parsley just before serving.

For the pork: Put the thyme, salt, peppercorns, juniper berries and garlic in a bowl. Add the boiling water and stir to dissolve the salt. Cool completely. Remove the silverskin from the tenderloins, then place the tenderloins in a non-aluminum container. Cover with the cold brine. Cover the container and refrigerate 4-8 hours.

To grill: Remove the pork from the brine. Pat dry, then rub all over with olive oil. Turn under the smaller, thin "tail" portion so it doesn't overcook, and secure with kitchen twine. Let sit while you prepare the grill.

Prepare a moderate charcoal fire for indirect grilling by banking the hot coals on both sides of the grill, leaving an area in the center with no coals underneath. Alternatively, preheat a gas grill to medium, then turn off one of the burners to create an area for indirect cooking.

Sear the pork on all sides directly over the coals or flame, then move to indirect heat, cover the grill, and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 140° on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes, depending on size of the tenderloins. Remove to a platter and let rest 5 minutes before carving.