Sweet Slow Cooked Pork

sweet slow cooked pork recipe

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.

sweet slow cooked pork recipe6-8 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

tortillas
shredded cheese
cilantro
sour cream

sweet slow cooked pork recipeSalt 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.

sweet slow cooked pork recipeThe 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.

sweet slow cooked pork recipeMix together root beer, tomato sauce, honey, garlic, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and cumin.

sweet slow cooked pork recipePour sauce over pork and cook on LOW for another 3 to 4 hours.

sweet slow cooked pork recipeHeat 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.

sweet slow cooked pork recipe

Sweet Slow Cooked Pork

Sweet Slow Cooked Pork

Yield: serves 10

Copycat Cafe Rio Sweet Pork - Sweet Slow Cooked Pork is the closest I can get to Cafe Rio these days. You could say that I am an enthusiastic fan of Cafe Rio and can't wait to get to one again.

Ingredients

  • 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

tortillas

  • shredded cheese
  • cilantro
  • sour cream

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Mix together root beer, tomato sauce, honey, garlic, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and cumin.
  4. Pour sauce over pork and cook on LOW for another 3 to 4 hours.
  5. 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.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g

Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

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This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Courtney

    oh yum! Anything with rootbeer in it must be good! I havent had cafe rio yet but I do hear about it all the time!

    1. bakedbree

      It is addicting! Be thankful that you haven’t had it yet.

  2. Sarah

    This looks DELICIOUS! I’m experimenting with slow cooker recipes and I CAN’T WAIT to try this one!

    Do you know how many ounces of root beer you used? (I assume 24 but I wanted to check with you before I try it!) Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. bakedbree

      It was a standard root beer bottle, like a beer.

  3. Rachael

    Do you know about how many people this would serve?

    1. bakedbree

      6.

  4. Katie @ Blonde Ambition

    How interesting! I’ve heard of pork slow cooked with beer, and with coca cola, but never root beer! Sounds sweet!

    1. bakedbree

      It is really sweet, you need the other stuff to balance it out.

  5. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    Amazing! I totally need to make this at my next dinner party – I hate slaving away in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun!

    1. bakedbree

      Me too. The worst! This is a great taco party meal.

  6. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    I’ve been looking for a new pulled pork recipe to try — THIS IS IT. Looks super yummy!

    1. bakedbree

      Hope you like it!

  7. Courtney

    Oh my goodness. I’m going to have to test whether this beats your brown sugar and balsamic pork recipe! It will be hard to do, but it could just pull it off!

    1. bakedbree

      If you like that one, you will love this. Sweet and savory at the same time.

  8. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen

    I’ve never heard of Cafe Rio, but that’s probably a good thing! I’m pretty sure they don’t have them here…Sounds too dangerous for me. The pork looks absolutely delicious!

  9. Carla's Confections

    I haven’t heard of cafe rio. Sounds like that’s a good thing lol!! I am on the west coast though so I am going to need to find it! This pork looks amazing!!

    1. bakedbree

      It is a good thing! The salad is so good.

  10. Lori @ RecipeGirl

    Adding this to my slow-cooker to-try list! Looks amazing!

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Lori!!

  11. Courtney

    This looks so delicious! You’ve inspired me to pull out the slow cooker again! 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      Love my slow cooker! It makes my life a lot easier.

  12. Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings

    That looks scrumptious!

    1. bakedbree

      It is!!

  13. Katie

    I don’t know what Cafe Rio is, but this looks and sounds amazing! Adding this to my meal plan for next week!

    1. bakedbree

      Be thankful! Cafe Rio will be the end of me. 🙂

  14. Becca - Cookie Jar Treats

    I haven’t had shredded pork in the longest time. Sadly I don’t think I will be having home cooked slow roasted pork because I’m the only one out of my roommates (that actually eats dinner at the apartment) that eats pork. Sigh. I will definitely bookmark this so I can make it when I go home for the holidays!

    1. bakedbree

      Have a party and make it for that!

  15. June g.

    This is in the pot right now! I’ll save some for “Sandy” tomorrow;)

    1. bakedbree

      Hope you made it out okay.

  16. Devil Dish

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      Have you ever had Cafe Rio pork? It is really really sweet.

  17. Pingback: The Best Queso Ever - Baked BreeBaked Bree

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