Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe
This Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe tastes just like the sweet pork they serve at Cafe Rio! Yes, you read that right. It’s so delicious AND it’s really easy to make.
After moving to Texas and realizing my favorite Mexican American restaurant was nowhere in site, I knew I needed to have Cafe Rio recipes in my recipe box. That’s when I discovered this recipe. You guys, it’s a real winner!
Serve this sweet pork with cilantro lime dressing, Cafe Rio black beans, and cilantro lime rice and you’ll be set!
You, and those eating this delicious food will never know this was homemade.
How to make Cafe Rio Sweet Pork
First, season the meat.
Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Seasoning
You’ll need 1 tablespoon of each:
- Paprika – can use smoked or regular, or a combination of both.
- onion powder
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Salt & pepper
Combine all of the dry seasonings in a bowl and stir to combine. Next, reserve 2 tablespoons of the dry seasoning, set this aside so that it doesn’t get mixed up with all the other things you’ll have going on in your kitchen. 🙂
Take the seasoning and rub it on all sides of the pork shoulder roast. Remember, don’t use the 2 tablespoons of reserved seasoning, that will be for later use.
Prep the Slow Cooker
To the insert of a slow cooker add Coca Cola soda and salsa verde (green salsa).
Next, add the seasoned pork to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
The cooking may take more or less time, depending on the size of your meat chunks.
Shred the pork
Once the meat is done cooking, transfer it to a baking pan and shred it. Discard any fat.
Pro tip: you don’t have to use a baking pan, but I find it so much easier than shredding meat on a cutting board. The baking pan catches the juices and keeps everything from spilling over.
Discard all but 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid in the slow cooker.
Add the shredded pork back into the slow cooker along with the 2 tablespoons of reserved seasoning, the 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, brown sugar, red enchilada sauce, green chiles, and green salsa. Stir together.
Cover and cook until heated through, about 20-30 minutes on high. Serve warm.
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Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika - can used smoked or regular paprika, or a mixture of both.
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3-4 lb boneless pork shoulder roast
- 1 cup coca cola soda
- 1 cup green salsa
- 2 cups red enchilada sauce
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar - packed
- 7 oz can diced green chiles - can puree the green chiles so they're smooth if you'd like
- 1 cup green salsa
- In a small bowl stir all of the seasoning spices together. Measure out 2 T of the seasoning and set aside for later use (we’ll use it after the pork is done cooking).
- Cut the pork into large chunks (about 6 inches) and rub the seasoning over all sides of the meat. (DO NOT use the 2 T of seasoning you reserved for later).
- To the bottom of a slow cooker, add the cola and green salsa. Stir to combine. Add the seasoned meat to the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. (May take less time or longer depending on how big or small your meat chunks were).
- When the pork is finished cooking, transfer the meat to a large cutting board or casserole dish and shred the meat. Discard any fat.
- Discard all but ½ cup of the cooking liquid in the slow cooker.
- Add the shredded pork back into the slow cooker along with the 2 T of reserved seasoning, red enchilada sauce, brown sugar, green chiles and green salsa. Stir together. Cover and cook until heated through, about 20-30 minutes on high. Serve warm!
- If you'd rather not have the chunky diced green chiles, you can blend them prior to adding to the slow cooker.
- If you don't have a 7 oz can of diced green chiles you can use a small 4 oz can. You won't notice a difference!
- After the meat is shredded and the sauce has been added to the slow cooker, I'll taste the meat + sauce and sometimes I'll add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar for a slightly sweeter pork.
8 Comments on “Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Recipe”
Can you make this ahead of time and freeze it and than reheat it?
yes you can!
I made thus sunday for my Family. It was a big hit.
This is a great recipe. I only added a splash of vinegar to cut the sweetness, but it’s definitely a keeper! Thanks so much!!
How much brown sugar does this recipe call for it is not listed.
Brown sugar is listed under “sauce.” You’ll need 1/2 cup.
I made your Rio Cafe Sweet Pork (minus the green chilies). The flavors of the spices were outstanding! My husband and two sons all agreed that this recipe is definitely a keeper. Two of us ate it with the cilantro-lime crema on top of the pork which we served on brioche rolls. Two of them ate it without the crema. Either way, everyone went back for extra servings. I served this along with a side dish of your cheesy cauliflower gratin which was also very satisfying.
I came across you website via Brown Eyed Baker’s blog. So glad she linked one of your recipes. I will definitely be trying more of them!
I love Michelle (from Brown Eyed Baker)! So happy she steered you towards my blog. Thanks for the sweet comment Brenda! So glad to hear everyone enjoyed the sweet pork.