Monday, April 14, 2008

Cafe Rio's Pork Barbacoa

I do like variety when I eat out, but when I find something I really love I can't help but get it every time I go. Thats what happened when I had Cafe Rio's Pork Barbacoa Burrito (enchilada style) . Its all I ordered there and I started to crave it when not there. I've tried other places, but what ever Cafe Rio did for their barbacoa it hooked me. I poked around for copy cat recipes, but never tried making my own. Now with miles between us, I got serious, did my research and the results were AWESOME! Seriously tasty!!! Now Boz and I will have to master Brick Oven Root Beer and we'll be set. So, here's what we did for the pork (a combination from online sources I found, and my own tweaking)

Pork Barbacoa

2 lbs pork (we used pork loin)
1 cup Dr. Pepper
1/4 cup water
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to slow cooker. Let cook on low for about 8 hours, then shred pork. (You may also want to drain some of the liquid, depending on how runny you want it). Then add the following to the cooked pork:

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 (4 oz) can mild diced green chilis
2/3 c salsa verde (green chili sauce) - we used La Victoria's Chunky Medium Salsa Verde
garlic powder and salt to taste

That's for the pork. Now, these measurements are guesstimates :). I originally put 1 cup of brown sugar in, but then I'm thinking the recipe I read maybe didn't intend for people to assume that brown sugar should be packed cause it recommended 2 cups. So I had to adjust for that, but the above is about right proportionately.

To fill the burrito:

Black Beans (or whatever kind you like)- we cooked our beans with some sugar, salt, and onion powder (more due to lack of dehydrated onions on hand). Measure about 1 cup of beans before cooking or use 2 cans of black beans for that much pork.

Rice - We threw some chicken bouillon, lemon juice, and fresh cilantro in with the rice in the rice cooker before cooking.

Monterey Jack Cheese and more of the Salsa Verde

First, preheat oven to 350, lightly grease a 9x13 pan and put a thin layer of salsa verde on the bottom of the pan. Fill tortillas (we used the partially cooked ones from Costco) with pork, rice, beans, cheese, and a little bit of salsa verde (or whatever sauce you want). Close and put seam side down into the pan. When finished, top burritos with salsa verde and cheese for enchilada style...mmm.

We used a little over a third of the pork and made 4 good sized burritos, so I imagine you could make 10-12 burritos with 2 lbs of pork.

Serve with:

Fresh Salsa - Tomato, onion, jalapeƱo, cilantro, lemon/lime juice, salt, and garlic powder

To garnish:

Orange Slices - of which Elyette ate almost all 4 oranges worth. If there's gonna be a garnish it better be tasty!


Marissa Smith said...

that sounds like it really worked! i am going to have to make mom make it. I think that I will also have to have some from cafe rio when mom and dad get here cause that sounds SO good!!!! and after a day of packing and moving that will be awesome! You are amazing! i love messing with stuff. I have a sweet and sour Pork recipe that i LOVE and I have tried it with chicken and is so good to! I'll have to give it to you soon

Melissapher said...

I'm addicted to the pork barbacoa as well!!! YES. I've been missing Cafe Rio recently, so I definitely need to try this recipe.

I think my mom has the recipe for the salad dressing, I'll have to check.

Renee said...

Wow! This is #6 when I googled "pork barbacoa recipe"
I didn't expect to see I blog I know!

Cameron said...

Okay, this is weird. I was talking to my wife about getting a recipe for Cafe Rio's pork barbacoa, so I did a search on the Google, and this was, like, the second or third result. Your names were familiar, and I couldn't figure out why, but your pictures were, too. After writing down the recipe -- hey, that was the reason I came here in the first place, right? -- I kept browsing your blog, and I remembered why I know you. My wife and I met up w/ you at Fisherman's Wharf a couple years back at The Pizza Factory, I think. My wife is Jessica Benson (Smith).

This whole experience was just...random. But, anyway, awesome recipe! I was planning on making barbacoa for dinner this week, and Jessica suggested I make it like Cafe Rio, so here we are. Thanks, again!

Anonymous said...

We just got our first Cafe Rio restaurant here in the Denver area earlier this year and I am absolutely addicted to the pork barbacoa there. My mom lives in the middle of nowhere N. Carolina and I was trying to explain to her what it tasted like. I did some google searches and found myself at your blog. This recipe sounds pretty good and I'm going to have my mom try it.

One question. I noticed that some other people used Coke instead of Dr. Pepper. Did you ever try your recipe with Coke? If so, how did it affect the taste?

Thanks so much for your hard work figuring this out and putting this recipe together. I'm not a chef and I never cook, but this will give me a reason to. :)


maegan said...

- I know a lot of people use coke. I haven't actually ever tried it with coke, but that mostly because I don't like drinking coke, so when it comes to drinking the left overs I prefer Dr. Pepper.

So in the end, that probably wasn't helpful :), but I'm sure it slightly effect flavor so I'd go with your taste preference anyway. The major thing is the sugar in the soda when you're cooking the pork (so just don't get diet!)
Hope it works out for you!