We've given a fresh, Mexican twist to the traditional pork ‘n’ beans that you remember from your childhood. In this recipe, trimmed pork tenderloin lowers the fat while keeping all the hearty, rich flavor.
1-lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into ½-inch chunks
1 tsp sea salt, divided
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp safflower oil
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 jalapeño chile peppers, finely chopped
1 tbsp unsalted tomato paste
2 cups boxed or jarred diced unsalted tomatoes
1/4 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 to 3 limes, cut into wedges
Drain and rinse soaked beans and transfer to a 5- to 6-qt slow cooker. Add enough hot water to cover by 1 inch. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours.
Add pork and cook for 3 hours on high, checking once or twice to ensure pork-bean mixture is just submerged in liquid; add water as needed so that beans remain submerged. Stir in 3/4 tsp salt and black pepper and cook until beans are tender, about 1 hour on high.
About 30 minutes before beans are done, heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Add bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 12 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeños and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and simmer until liquid reduces by about three-quarters, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp salt.
With a large ladle, scoop and discard most of the cooking liquid in slow cooker so that beans are moist but not soupy. Add tomato mixture to bean mixture and stir to combine. Turn off slow cooker (or keep on warm setting for up to 2 hours). Ladle beans into bowls and top with cheese and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Serving Size: 1 cup pork-bean mixture and 1/2 tbsp cheese