• Pulled Pork & Watermelon Salad

    I love watermelon so this is one of my favourite recipes & a quintessential Jamaican classic. My Pulled Pork and Watermelon salad is a refreshing change to the norm, a filling salad that packs all the jerk punch with complex spice flavours that are well loved. Divine piled into a hot crusty roll & any left overs make for a tasty lunch the next day. Enjoy!

    Serves: 6-8
    Time: 10 mins Prep/ 7+ Hours to cook

    watermelon, salad



    • 2.5kg pork shoulder, bone in, skin removed, flesh deeply scored
    • 100g watercress
    • ¼ large watermelon, cut into small, bite-sized pieces
    • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Jerk Marinade

    • 8 tsp allspice berries
    • 5 tsp black peppercorns
    • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
    • 2 tsp coriander seeds
    • 8 spring onions, roughly chopped, bulb discarded
    • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
    • 1–2 Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded
    • 8 dried bay leaves, crushed
    • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
    • 2 level tbsp sea salt
    • 5 tsp thyme leaves
    • 2 tsp grated nutmeg
    • ½ thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 3 tsp honey
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 2 tsp rapeseed oil
    • 1 tsp soy sauce

    Dressing & marinade

    • 1/4 of the Jerk Marinade from above
    • ½ tbsp instant coffee granules, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
    • Juice of 2 oranges

    pulled pork, watermelon, salad


    1. In a frying pan on a low heat, dry-fry the allspice berries, black peppercorns, cinnamon pieces and coriander seeds, shaking the pan often, for a couple of minutes until the aroma of the spices is released. Pop the spices into a pestle and mortar and bash until everything has broken down into a grainy powder. Add the spices and all the rest of the ingredients into a food processor and blitz into a course paste. For this recipe you will need about a quarter of the paste. Store the rest in an airtight container
    2. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Using a quarter of the Jerk marinade you have made, combine half with the dissolved coffee and the juice of one orange. Place the pork shoulder onto a plate and massage the jerk mixture deep into the scored flesh. Transfer the pork (leaving behind (but not discarding) any excess juices on the plate) into a baking tin and pop into the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
    3. Remove the tin from the oven and reduce the temperature to 150°C/Gas 2. Pour the excess juices from the plate over the pork shoulder, cover the tin with foil, ensuring that the edges are well sealed, and place back into the oven. Cook for 5–7 hours, turning the shoulder and spooning the tray juices over every hour, until the meat is cooked through and can be literally spooned off the bone. Remove the pork shoulder from the oven and set aside, loosely covered with the foil.
    4. In the meantime, on a low heat, heat the remaining marinade in a small pan for a couple minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spice aroma hits you, then stir in the remaining orange juice to make a dressing. Set aside 2 tablespoons of this dressing for later.
    5. When the pork shoulder is cool enough to handle, remove and discard any fat, then use a fork to pull the meat from the bone and place in a large bowl, along with any sticky juices left in the pan. Using two forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.
    6. Pour the dressing over the pulled pork, gently tossing to ensure that it is well coated in the liquid. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. (Once the pork has cooled to room temperature, you can chill it for a couple days, or freeze for up to two months and defrost fully, before heating through.)
    7. In the meantime, put the watercress on a large serving platter and pour over the reserved 2 tablespoons of dressing, ensuring that all the leaves are well coated. Add the watermelon and a generous pinch of salt, tossing it through to ensure that the watermelon is well seasoned. Add the pulled pork and gently toss together, distributing the shreds of pork across the salad. Have a final taste, and add a little more seasoning, if necessary. Serve your Caribbean jerk pulled pork and watermelon salad immediately.
    Shivi Ramoutar

    Posted by Shivi Ramoutar