Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sweet Pork Burritos(or salad) Cafe Rio Style...

These are possibly one of the best things I have ever made.  My family and I LOVE Cafe Rio, they have the yummiest Mexican food.  If you haven't had it before go HERE, find one by you and go eat to much and love every bite of it.  You haven't lived til you have eaten there I think :)

The other day I was doing my usual cooking blog stalking and came to this FABULOUS little cooking blog: They have a whole ton of yummy recipes Im excited to try. But when I saw a homemade copycat recipe for Cafe Rio's sweet pork...I almost died, and instantly started drooling. I was so excited to try it since this is what my husband orders EVERY TIME we eat there.  I knew I had to share it with you, and I am excited for you to try it too. :)

***I will warn you, this will look like it's a lot of work or a lot to do.  But it's really not, it just takes lots of time because you cook the pork in your slow cooker.  It's all pretty much dumping everything together, even the rice, and beans...the hardest part is the waiting, it will smell sooo good.  It also looks like a lot of steps because you can add the beans and rice, but you don't have to.  It would be just as good plain with the pork, salsa from a jar, sour cream and cheese all wrapped up.  But I promise it's worth it.  And ends up to be WAY cheaper than if you went to Cafe Rio and bought it***

If you want to see the recipe straight from the site I got it from go HERE.  They also give the recipe for the Cafe Rio black beans, lime-cilantro rice and their cilantro ranch(my fav, its totally addicting). But I will put it all here too, with things I found helpful or changed.  They first used the Sweet Pork in a salad, but since my husband likes it so much burrito, enchilada style I did it that way.  We will use the tons of left over pork for salads probably tomorrow :) mmmm I can't wait.

I looked for my camera everywhere to take pictures while I was making all this.  But my son thinks its sooo funny to hide my camera and phone in random places... I finally found it yesterday...under the fridge, clear back in the back. nice right? anyway...on with the recipe, hopefully it will be detailed enough so you can follow along.

This is straight from the main recipe, but Ive put my changes or tips in PURPLE!

2 pounds pork (I'm not very good at picking out what meat is best for what, so I just told the butcher at the grocery store what I was making and he showed me the different kinds of pork that would be best.  I do know though the more marbled and kinda fatty the pork the better it would fall apart.  I got something that was in the middle of fattiness and lean so I could attempt to be healthier.)
3 cans Coke (NOT diet) (I bought a liter of Coke, cause it ended up to be WAY cheaper. and I can use it for a marinade or something later.)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced green chilies (I used mild, and the smallest can, I think it's 4 oz)
3/4 can RED enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso brand, mild spiciness since I was going to give it to my 1 year old.  But you can do medium or hot if you want.)
1 c. brown sugar

Put the pork in a heavy duty Ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.  (Overnight is probably best. That is what I did and before I even added the sauce below it was so sweet and tender...mmmm)

Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry). Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork. (ok..this is the way I did it, and cooked it for 3 hours.  BUT next time I am going to cook my pork on low until its cooked, so 8-10 hours.  That way it will be even more moist and delicious!  But cooking it on high worked fine.  ALWAYS make sure you drain it after, before moving on to the step below!)

In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little. (definitely do the sugar to taste!)

Put shredded pork and sauce in crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice. (this was so so good! My son gobbled it all up by itself)

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice (My son likes V8 juice so I just used that and it worked great!)
1 1/2 tsp. salt (I would say do it more to taste, it was pretty salty.)
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro. (also SUPER yummy and my 1 year old loved them)

Ok, now...if you want to make the salad this is the recipe for the dressing...if not, scroll down for what i did to make them "enchilada style."


1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk
2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno (if you like it hot then add the seed, in not and you like it mild, just remove the seeds)

Mix all ingredients together in the blender. That's it!

Here is how we put it all together: First of all, we bought the aluminum deep-dish pans (they had these at the grocery store, you will know when you see them.. they look JUST like the Cafe Rio tins). Lay a tortilla in the bottom of the pan, sprinkle cheese on it, and put in the oven at 375 for about 5 min or until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven, add beans, rice, pork, then ROMAINE lettuce and a little scoop of diced tomato and onions (pico de gallo). Add guacamole (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) and sour cream. Add crushed tortilla chips, a shake of Parmesan cheese, and top with a few cilantro leaves. Serve with the cilantro ranch dressing and there you have it!

(picture from

1 small can of GREEN enchilada sauce
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Cups of Monterey Jack Cheese (I had mozzarella on hand so that's what I used and it was yummy, but I think Cafe Rio probably uses the monterey jack)

Preheat your oven to 350 degree then lightly grease a 13x9 pan. 

In a small bowl, combine 1 can of GREEN enchilada sauce(I also dumped the rest of my RED sauce in from the pork, since I only had a little bit left) and 1/4 Cup of brown sugar TO TASTE!

Next fill your burritos with the sweet pork, beans, rice, about a Tablespoon or so of sauce, cilantro, and cheese. Wrap them up, and place them seams side down in your dish. Top with remaining green sauce and cheese.

Put in oven and bake for 30 min or until cheese is melted.

We ate it with homemade guacamole(I LOVE guacamole), and some left over beans and rice.

Soooo that's it! Enjoy!  :) I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we did.  Like I said, even my one year old who is super picky loved it!  He loved all of it, the sweet pork, beans and rice...

I think this would be a fun FHE dinner, or date night dinner.  My husband helped me assemble the burritos, I love cooking with him.

Have a FABULOUS day!


ludlowgang said...

Ok, so if I hate spending a lot of time in the kitchen, is this worth it? I mean, it sounds kinda difficult and time consuming. It sounds like I should just drive to Cafe Rio and pick up a salad. LOL. Sounds delicious, but seems like a lot of work. Maybe I'm just lazy.

Megan said...

Its really not a lot of work. It seems like a lot but its not really. The hardest part is probably shredding the meat and waiting!!! cause it smells soooo good. and it ends up to be WAAAY cheaper than just buying it at cafe rio.

ludlowgang said...

Good to know. I think I'm going to try it this week. :) Thanks for the recipe.

Amy said...

Thanks for the recipe im from utah and i love that place! Do you have any recipe for their cilantro lime chicken? or they have some lucious shrimp! I can't wait to make it! YUMMY@

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