Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Homemade Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Burrito, Smothered

Forgive me while my site is somewhat under construction. I am trying to update, improve, and make better my blog.

Moving on.

One of the things I miss most about Utah is Cafe Rio. Some affectionately claim that Costa Vida is "so much better", and sometimes I agree, but the overall concept is the same: shredded sweet pork, spicy sauce, tangy rice and beans, stuffed in a huge, fresh cooked tortilla, slathered in green salsa and melted cheese. Whoever designed it was genius.

Here in Missouri, we often crave sweet pork burritos. The closest we have ever come was the sweet pork salad but it doesn't ever quite hit the spot. Something about the flavors and textures of the smothered burrito make it particularly addicting.

However, I recently discovered a combination of recipes that when meshed together create an authentic, nearly identical tasting, Cafe Rio sweet pork burrito, smothered style. Want to know my secrets? Read on!

Sweet Pork Barbacoa
recipe adapted from Laura and Brandon Allison
Total cook time: 12-15 hours

5-6 lbs bone in, pork butt roast

-Place in crock pot on low, sprinkle with: salt, cumin, and brown sugar. Fill up crock to about halfway up the pork. Let cook about 7-9 hours.
*Bone-in pork will produce much more flavor but also a significantly higher amount of fat. If watching fat content, try the boneless shoulder or butt roast, and trim the fat before cooking, but know it won't have nearly as deep of flavor.

In the AM:
-Drain the water from the pork.
-Mix in a bowl:
1, 7 oz. can of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. red taco sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
21 oz. Dr. Pepper (or Coke, not diet!!)

Pour the can of chipotle chilies in the bowl, then some of the Dr. Pepper to rinse the sauce off the chilies. Remove the chilies unless you want it hot, hot, hot! You can alter the amount of heat by adding more or less chilies, spicier taco sauce, and more cayenne pepper. Mix everything else into the bowl and pour the mixture over the pork, re-lid, and cook about 4 more hours.

-Remove the meat or shred it in the crock.
Add (to taste):
1/2-1 cup more brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Generous sprinkle of cumin and cayenne pepper.
Stir together and cook another hour or two until ready to serve.

Spicy Green Enchilada Sauce
from favfamilyrecipes.com

2, 4 oz cans of diced green chilies
2, 7 oz. cans salsa verde, ("Embasa" brand is good)
1 c. chicken broth
4 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt

Combine together in a medium saucepan. Simmer for about 10-20 minutes. Refrigerating over night will help flavors meld together better.

Black Beans
lightly adapted from Our Best Bites

1 Tbl. olive oil
1 medium-small onion, diced (about 2/3 cup)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2, 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. chicken broth
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. dried cilantro
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
Juice of 1 lime

Saute the onion in the olive oil over medium-high heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds. Add beans, broth, spices, and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 7-15 minutes, depending on desired consistency. To make a thicker mixture, smash part of the beans with the back of the spoon, and cook longer. For a thinner consistency, cook less time, don't smash as many beans, and add more broth as needed. Squeeze lime juice over beans just before serving.

Cilantro-Lime Rice
lightly adapted from Our Best Bites

1 cups rice, uncooked
2 cups water
2 Tbl. butter
Juice from 1 lime
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Cook the rice and water in a saucepan about 20 minutes, or cook in a rice cooker. Add the butter, lime juice, and cilantro. Mix and fluff gently. You can add a dash of salt and pepper to taste if desired.

Pico De Gallo
lightly adapted from Our Best Bites

4 roma tomatoes

1 small, sweet onion
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Sea salt.
Jalapeno, diced, optional.

Slice the ends off the tomatoes and under running water, slide a finger into to membranes to release the seeds and juice. Dice into small pieces and place in bowl. Dice onion into small pieces, mix with tomatoes. Add cilantro and lime juice. Grind sea salt generously to taste. Let marinate in fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Other ingredients:
-Uncooked tortillas, we like Tortilla Land from Costco
-Monterey Jack cheese
-Guacamole & Sour Cream, if desired


-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Cook the tortillas according to package instructions.
-Layer on tortilla in desired amounts: rice, beans, sweet pork, green salsa, cheese.
-Roll up and place in a 9x13 baking dish. Repeat for desired amounts.
-Slather green salsa generously over all burritos in dish, sprinkle with more cheese.
-Heat in oven about 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
-Serve with Pico de Gallo, Guac, and sour cream on the side.

Of course I thought to take a picture of the finished product after we had already cleaned our plates. Oops. Just take my honest word for the fact that they seriously look, feel, and taste almost identical to Cafe Rio burritos! I was thrilled and very proud of myself for finding and combining all the elements together. The pork recipe feeds a crowd, so plan on doubling everything else if you want more than about 10-12 burritos. Good luck and HAPPY SWEET PORK!

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, yum! Just reading your title made my mouth water. I gotta admit, Cafe Rio is one of my all-time favorites!