Sweet Slow Cooked Pork or Copycat Cafe Rio Sweet Pork – made in the slow cooker, this is a super easy pork recipe that tastes just like the restaurant.
I am obsessed with Cafe Rio. My kids are so tired of it, and I could eat it every single day. If you have never heard of Cafe Rio, consider yourself lucky. Because once you discover it, you will be obsessed like I am. They are a West coast company that is slowly making its way to the East coast.
I have been seeing and reading about Cafe Rio for years on my friends Instagram and Twitter feeds. When we moved here a few months ago, I stumbled upon one and now we have been there almost week since. I even had them cater a lunch for me (they did an incredible job).
Cafe Rio makes quite a few things that I love, but the pork is my favorite. It is sweet and full of flavor and great in tacos, salad, or on their insanely good nachos. I found a copycat recipe on The Girl Who Ate Everything and guess what? It is pretty darn close to original.
This is perfect for a crowd, or a lazy weekend when you really want something delicious but don’t want to slave over anything. It takes a long time to make, but it takes about 20 minutes total of your time.
I bought a 7 pound bone-in pork shoulder and started it the day before I wanted to eat it. I put the pork in the slow cooker before I went to bed and let it cook overnight. In the morning, I drained out the water, got rid of all of the fat, and shredded the pork.
Mix together the sauce and pour it over and cook for another few hours. I actually made this on Saturday and did not eat it until Monday night. I think that it just got better and better as it sat in the sauce. I heated some tortillas and melted some cheese over.
Add the pork and add lettuce, salsa, guacamole, whatever you want. You could set out a table full of toppings and let everyone add what they like. You can use this pork for a burrito, tacos, nachos, whatever you want.
6-8 pound pork shoulder (bone in or bone out)
2 bottles root beer
4 (8-oz) cans tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons honey
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 teaspoons cumin
Salt and pepper pork roast on both sides. Put in the slow cooker with about a cup or so of water. Cook on low for 8 hours or overnight.
The next morning, drain out all of the water and remove as much fat (or bone if you have one) as you can from the pork. Shred with two forks.
Mix together root beer, tomato sauce, honey, garlic, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and cumin.
Pour sauce over pork and cook on LOW for another 3 to 4 hours.
Heat tortillas in a 350 degree oven. Add some shredded cheese and melt. Add pork, cilantro, and sour cream. I like a squeeze of lime on mine to freshen it up.
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Tuesday 30th of October 2012
Flavor is great, but WAAAAY too sweet. Cloyingly sweet. My daughter said it taste like Gummy Bears (she loved it BTW).
Try slow cooking the pork in a cup of root beer overnight to entrain the flavor, then dump the excess liquid in the morning. Use half the brown sugar then add chicken stock for base. Nice balance of salty sweet.
Friday 2nd of November 2012
Have you ever had Cafe Rio pork? It is really really sweet.
Saturday 27th of October 2012
This is in the pot right now! I'll save some for "Sandy" tomorrow;)
Friday 2nd of November 2012
Hope you made it out okay.