Watermelon-Injected Pork Tenderloin
with Watermelon Salsa
"When one has tasted watermelons, one knows what angels eat. It was not a southern watermelon that Eve took; we know it because she repented."...Mark Twain
This recipe screams late summertime when the watermelons are plentiful. It's for one of those evenings when you don't want to go inside and you're feeling just a little hungry. Barefoot children will soon be chasing fireflies and it's a fine night for grilling.
We originally came up with this recipe for ribs, but it proved to be wonderful for pork tenderloin. We use an injector, or syringe, to infiltrate the muscle fiber with the marinade (an injector or food syringe can be found in specialty food stores). Reserve a little marinade for basting.
You'll see that we use Midori liqueur (a Japanese liqueur with a honeydew flavor). It does give a delicate boost to the marinade, but buy a small bottle as it doesn't go with everything.
If you don't have an injector, just marinate tenderloin overnight. This marinade will also improve the taste of lesser cuts of meat, such as London Broil or chicken.
For best results inject the meat the day before and store in an airtight plastic bag with extra marinade.
Blender, Sieve or Strainer, Airtight Plastic Bags, Injector for Marinade, Grill
3 cups diced watermelon meat
(approximately, to yield 2 cups juice)
3 jalapeños (leave jalapeño ribs
and seeds in for max heat, out for less)
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup Midori liqueur (optional)
2 lbs. pork tenderloin
Salt and pepper
1. Seed, then purée watermelon and jalapeños in a blender.
2. Strain mixture through a sieve and return to the blender. If you won't be injecting the tenderloin, don't worry about straining the marinade.
3. Add salt, sugar and Midori liqueur and blend for 2 minutes.
4. Reserve 1 cup for basting.
5. Draw marinade up into syringe-type injector. Poke and inject marinade throughout tenderloin.
6. After marinating, season the meat with some salt and pepper.
7. Have your coals prepared on the grill and use the combination technique of direct and indirect heat. Roll the tenderloin over the direct heat to establish some sexy grill marks and then move to a slower part of the grill to finish cooking.
8. Baste the tenderloin periodically throughout the cooking process. Finishing over indirect heat will allow it to cook without burning.
9. Cook the tenderloin to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. (Despite all the warnings from your mother about the need to cook pork to 170 degrees, the truth is 137 degrees will kill off anything that might harm you.) Allow the meat 5 minutes to rest, then slice into medallions. Fan across some Watermelon Salsa for a great summer meal.
2 cups watermelon, seeded and diced fine
1 Granny Smith apple, diced fine
1 red onion, julienned
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 mango, peeled and diced
2 jalapeños, seeded and diced fine
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 limes, juice only
Splash of rice wine vinegar
Combine all ingredients and chill well.
Recipes and Other Adventures from Hudson's on the Bend
By Jeff Blank and Jay Moore
with Deborah Harter, photographs by Laurie Smith,
Chef Portraits by Shanny Lott
Fearless Press, Publication date: November 1999
Hardback, 180 pages, $32.95
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
- Toasted Piñon-Coriander Crusted Goat Cheese
Atop Garden Greens Tossed in a Poblano-Almond-Lime Vinaigrette
- Watermelon-Injected Pork Tenderloin with Watermelon Salsa
This page created November 1999