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Pulled Pork with Pickled Watermelon Rind Salsa

Serves: Makes 6 to 8 servings plus extra pickled rinds

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  • Pulled Pork:
  • 1 (5-7 pound) pork shoulder roast or Boston butt or 1 (4-6 pound) boneless
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces lager beer (or water)
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Pickled Watermelon Rinds:
  • 1½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ cups water
  • ¾ cups turbinado (raw) sugar
  • 1 small jalapeno, cut in half lengthwise and deseeded
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • ½ small seedless watermelon, cut into ½" thick slices

  • Pickled Watermelon Rind Salsa:
  • 3 cups watermelon flesh, diced
  • 2 cups Pickled Watermelon Rinds, finely chopped
  • Handful chopped cilantro, stems and all
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced


Braise pork: Heat oven to 300°F. In a small bowl, stir together oil, garlic, brown sugar, spices, salt and pepper. Rub pork with spice mixture. Add beer, vinegar and Worcestershire in a large Dutch oven or roasting pan. Place pork in pan. Cover with foil and bake until pork is tender and can be pulled apart with a fork, about 4½-5 hours.

Shred pork: Transfer pork to a large bowl and let cool slightly. While still warm, shred the meat with two forks, discarding the bone. Keep warm in pan juices.

Prep rinds: Remove the outer green skin from the rind and discard. Cut watermelon flesh from the rind and set aside for salsa. Chop rinds into 1 inch pieces.

Make brine: In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil vinegar, water, sugar, jalapeno, salt, coriander and peppercorns.

Pickle rinds: Add the rinds to the brine. Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to rinds to a large glass jar or two and add enough brine to cover (you may not need all of it, save for future pickles). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for deeper flavor.

Make salsa: In a medium bowl, stir chopped watermelon flesh, pickled rinds, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, salt, lime zest and juice.

Serve: When you’re ready to eat, rewarm pulled pork in pan juices. Serve pork with salsa.

What’s left: Green watermelon skin, onion peels.

Use leftover pickled rinds to use on salads or as a stand-alone side dish. Since the pickled watermelon rinds are not canned they can only be stored in the fridge for 2 months. The flavor gets better as they sit.

You can also use a peeler to remove the green outer skin from the watermelon.

When using beer in this recipe stick with an ale or a lager.

Make the pork and pickled rinds the day before you plan to serve. Make the salsa the day you are planning to serve it.

Recipe courtesy of Scraps

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