Monday, July 18, 2011

cafe rio sweet pork

People go nuts for Cafe Rio.  One opened down the street from me and it is always packed.  There are some die hard Cafe Rio fans out there.  I am not one of them.  It is not that I don't like Cafe Rio.  I do like it but, I actually love the Mexican restaurant a few doors down.  The other Mexican restaurant loves me.  They know the kids when they walk in and promptly give my son a horchata.  They have our order down.  The food is great which is why I have only tried Cafe Rio once.  What our place does not have is sweet pork.  My kids like sweet pork and will eat large portions of it so, when I was planning Campbell's birthday menu this seemed like a meal that would be enjoyed by both kids and adults.  I googled Cafe Rio recipes and there are so many variations out there.  They have such a range of ingredients and with having only tasted it once I had to come up with flavors I thought we would like.  Most recipes used a crockpot but, mine died back in the spring.  So the plan was to use my dutch oven and hope for the best.  It is hard to screw up a pork butt. The meat came out tender and sweet.  I would have loved a little heat behind the sweet but, I knew the kids wouldn't eat it.  Next time when I shred the pork I am going to put it in two pots for the remaining low cook and add a few chipotle chiles in adobo sauce.  I think the sweet and spicy combination would be out of this world.  I am actually drooling a bit thinking about it.  I am looking forward to going to Cafe Rio to do a taste test and see if this even comes close.  Hard for me to call it Cafe Rio pork but, guest that know Cafe Rio said this does taste like.  I also tried the Cafe Rio cilantro rice and black beans copycat recipes.  I was not wowed by either of those.  What I did like is the cilantro dressing (recipe to come). 

cafe rio sweet pork
source: sweetflours

6-7 pounds pork shoulder or pork butt
3 cans Coke 
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 can diced green chilies
1 14oz bottle red enchilada sauce (I used trader joe's)
1 cup light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 300.

Generously season pork with salt, pepper.  Sprinkle dark brown sugar and garlic powder on both sides of the seasoned pork.  Gently rub the spice mixture into the meat.  Put the pork fat side up in a dutch oven sprayed with cooking spray or oiled. Add two cans of coke around the pork.  Put lid on the dutch oven and let the pork cook for 6 hours.

Remove pork from the oven and drain the liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.  Return pork to dutch oven.

Reduce oven temperature to 250.

In a food processor or blender, blend one can of coke, green chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining cup of brown sugar.  Pour sauce over shredded pork and return pork to the oven in covered dutch oven.  Cook for an additional two hours.


Anonymous said...

Many thanks.

Three-Cookies said...

This looks quite unique and delicious, esp with cola, lot of sugar and chillies. Hot and sweet!

Kitchen Belleicious said...

That pork looks and sounds amazing. I love sweet flavors with my meat and this one tops the cake. I cant wait to give it a try. You always have new and fun dishes for us!

That Girl said...

I've never even heard if cafe rio but now I'm curious. Will have to try one of the OC locations.

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