I just recently discovered these amazing giant baked beans at Trader Joe's and I had to come up with a creative way to use them. So as all great KendellKreations begin, I started with what I had on hand and went from there. So, some pork tenderloins, a box of chicken stock, these amazing baked beans, and some rice turned into this tasty Pork and Beans perfect for the cooler months ahead.
These beans came into my life while I was on my Pacific Northwest Expedition during September and October of 2019. I spent 6 weeks traveling in the upper left with my dog and my tiny travel trailer. I have always loved Trader Joe's but the stores there make out Texas counterparts look like convince stores.
They are packed with flavor and can add a little excitement to just about any dish. They have a tiny bit of spice to them, but a sweet heat that will keep you coming back for more, and more, and more!
While I was on my expedition I was experiencing some cooler temps as fall turned the corner, so my first time using these beans I made a fantastic soup over the campfire that I wish you could have experienced with me. Packed full of flavor because of these beans, and heartwarming to match. I ate it so fast I don't even have a bad phone picture to show you.
Why Pork and Beans?
As I said, I had some pork tenderloins that I needed to use up. And I had these beans that I grabbed and didn't have a solid plan for yet. I settled on making a
I begin by dicing up the pork tenderloins and seasoning them while I prepare to make the rest of the dish.
Once again, I will talk about how I learned from Samin Nosrat and her Netflix show "Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat". Salt your meats as soon as you bring it home to allow the flavors to develop. If you haven't watched it, go do it now and then come back to this.
The importance of seasoning your meat ahead of time and then letting it come to room temp before cooking is huge. Once you begin to do this it will change the way you cook and enjoy food in the future. It will reduce cooking time and help you to cook meats more evenly.
How to make Pork and Beans
I begin by searing off my diced pork in the bottom of a heavy cast iron pan. This is an important step in this process because you want to begin the cooking process by creating flavor at the bottom. Browning the meat will produce a crispy bottom to your pan. Then you then deglaze with the chicken stock adding more flavor to the overall dish.
Then after I deglaze the pan with the chicken stock I allow the meat to perform a quick braise in the sauce while a beautiful gravy begins to form. Allow that to simmer while the meat tenderizes, then add in some diced tomatoes and stew it down. Because these beans are already cooked and stewed I add them in at the very end. Do this so the beans don't disintegrate and disappear into the stew.
Serve these Pork and Beans over basmati rice, basmati is the only rice I use in my kitchen these days. I did a little research on rice a while back and learned that all rice has a bit of arsenic in it, but basmati has the least. I also love the way it cooks and how easy it is to cook.