Jerk-Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Black Beans and Caramelized Sweet Potatoes

  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 15 hr 30 min (includes marinating times)
  • Active: 1 hr 50 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Pork Tenderloin:

Two 1-pound pork tenderloins

2 cups distilled white vinegar 

9 Scotch bonnet chiles, seeded and halved 

9 cloves garlic 

1 1/2 cups chopped green onion 

3 tablespoons light brown sugar 

3 bay leaves, crumbled 

2 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme 

2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice 

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper 

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice 

3 tablespoons soy sauce 

2 tablespoons grapeseed or other vegetable oil 

Spiced Glaze:

1 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar

1 cup 100-percent pure cane syrup, such as Steen¿s 

1/2 cup dark molasses 

1/2 cup dark corn syrup 

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1 teaspoon dry mustard 

1/4 cup water 

Caramelized Sweet Potatoes:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), washed, ends removed, and cut into 1-inch dice 

Stewed Black Beans:

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion 

1 cup chopped sweet peppers, such as cubanelle, banana, or Italian peppers 

1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and chopped 

1 tablespoon chopped garlic 

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano 

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste 

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1 teaspoon ground cumin 

1 teaspoon ground coriander 

3 bay leaves 

1 pound dried black beans 

10 cups water, as needed 

2 smoked ham hocks 

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 

1/3 cup dark rum 

2 teaspoons sugar 

Cooked rice, for serving 

Sweet onion, small dice, for garnish 

Cilantro leaves, for garnish 

Sour cream, for serving, optional 


  1. For the jerk-spiced pork tenderloin: Add the pork to a large bowl with the vinegar, and toss until coated. Transfer the pork to a large platter or rimmed baking sheet and discard the vinegar.
  2. To make the marinade, add the chilies, garlic, green onion, brown sugar, bay leaves, thyme, allspice, cinnamon, black pepper, 1 tablespoon of the salt, lime juice and soy sauce to a food processor or blender and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Reserve 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the marinade and set aside, covered, in a small container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Spoon the remaining marinade all over the pork, then transfer the pork to a large re-sealable plastic bag set in a bowl (to catch any leaks) or in a large container and cover. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Remove the pork from the marinade and set on a large platter. Add any marinade that did not adhere to the pork to a 6-quart Dutch oven.
  5. Heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium high heat and brush with the oil. Alternatively you can heat a grill to medium high and brush the grates with the oil. Season the pork all over with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Once the grill pan is hot, cook the pork for 2 to 3 minutes or until nicely marked. Turn the pork over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to the Dutch oven with the marinade, turn to coat, then place in the oven. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. For the spiced glaze: Combine the sugar, cane syrup, molasses, corn syrup, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon in a medium-size bowl and mix well. In another bowl, dissolve the mustard in the water, then add to the spice mixture. Blend well.
  7. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Will keep for 2 weeks. Yield: 2 1/2 cups
  8. For the caramelized sweet potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  9. Grease a 2-quart glass rectangular baking dish with the butter.
  10. Toss the sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl with 1/2 cup of the spiced glaze to coat evenly. Pour them into the prepared pan and roast until fork-tender, about 1 hour.
  11. For the stewed black beans: Heat the oil in a 6-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onion, sweet peppers, jalapeno, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and bay leaves and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans, 6 cups of the water, ham hocks, vinegar, rum and sugar to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook until the beans are soft, stirring as needed, and adding more water as necessary to keep the beans covered, about 4 hours.
  12. Once the beans are done, remove the ham hocks and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and return to the beans.
  13. Slice the jerk-spiced pork tenderloin and drizzle it sparingly with the reserved marinade. Serve with the caramelized sweet potatoes. Serve the black beans with the cooked rice and garnish with the sweet onion, cilantro leaves, and sour cream.

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