Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Pork and watermelon

"Pork and watermelon is a summer dish that absolutely pops," chef Quinnton Austin said. "It's normally a salad, but I've decided to make it a main dish."

Chef Quinnton Austin
Louisiana Purchase, San Diego

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Pickled watermelon rind
1 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. peppercorns
2 tbsp. dried thyme
2 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
2 cups watermelon rind (cut into 1/2-inch cubes)

Watermelon au jus
3 cups watermelon pieces (rind and meat)
2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Pork and watermelon
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. granulated garlic
8 oz. pork tenderloin
1 cup watermelon pieces


For pickled watermelon rind, place water, vinegar, sugar and spices in a large saucepot and bring to a boil. Add watermelon rind. Boil for 15 minutes; reduce heat and simmer another 20 minutes or until tender. Transfer watermelon with brine to clean jars, tightly seal jars and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. They'll stay fresh for about a month.

Place au jus ingredients in a small saucepot. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes to reduce.

Meanwhile, mix brown sugar and spices together in a small bowl and rub into pork. Place pork on a grill or hot skillet to get a nice sear or char. Transfer to a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes or until medium- well. Remove from pan and let rest for 5 minutes.

While pork is resting, sauté watermelon pieces in a separate skillet for 10 minutes or until sugars start to char. Slice pork and place on a plate with watermelon pieces and 1/2 cup pickled rind. Drizzle with au jus.

Serves 2

Photo: © 2019 Walter Wilson

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