Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pork Barbacoa Salad: Cafe Rio Style

This is one of my new favorite meals. I have to thank my friend Amanda for this knock off of a Cafe Rio recipe. I am not a fan of Cafe Rio, mainly because their food is not spicy and it taste like candy, so I was hesitant. My friend promised me that I would love this version, and that it is spicy and not too sweet. I trusted her, and I am so glad I did! Along with the pork barbacoa, I also made a Cafe Rio style rice recipe that I found in our church cookbook and then a version of the tomatillo dressing also from our church cookbook (the same one I made here). Together with all this I had black beans, fried yellow corn tortilla strips, shredded cheese, lettuce, and homemade taco bowls.

Pork Barbacoa

5-6 lb. pork roast
21 oz. Dr. Pepper (or Coke, do NOT use diet soda)
1 cup brown sugar ( I used 3/4 c)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
7 oz. can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
6-ish oz. red taco sauce (I used hot)
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Place roast in crock-pot, cover half-way with water and cook on low for 12 hours. Do not be afraid of the long cooking times... it really does turn out. A good thing to do is start this before you go to bed at night. After 12 hours, drain pork
Mix remaining ingredients until sugar dissolves. If you want it super spicy, you can add all the chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, but it will be super spicy, I did this, but I love spicy and it was perfect for me. (The chilies are found in the Mexican food aisle next to the other canned peppers). My friend did not keep the actual chilies, she dumped the can into a bowl and added enough Dr. Pepper to get all the sauce off of the chilies, then fished out the chilies and threw them out. She also rinsed out the can with Dr. Pepper for more adobo goodness.
Add Dr. Pepper mixture to the roast and cook on low an additional 4 hours. Shred roast, and cook for 2 more hours. At this point the meat was so tender it practically shredded itself.

Cafe Rio Style Rice

3 c water (or 6 if you are using a rice cooker)
4 tsp chicken bouillon (or about 2 cubes)
4 tsp minced garlic
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 can green chilies
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
1/2 onion
3 c rice
Blend cilantro, green chilies and onion together in a food processor. Bring water to a boil and add other ingredients. Simmer covered for 30 min. Or throw everything in a rice cooked, like I did.

Go here for the tomatillo dressing recipe

For the beans I just used canned black beans and heated them up in a sauce pan, liquid and all. The yellow corn tortilla strips were made from yellow corn tortillas (duh) and then deep fried at 375 for 5-6 minutes, then salted. The homemade tortilla bowls is my greatest invention yet. I used the cook your own tortillas from Wal-Mart or Costco, and squished into a oven safe bowl and baked it at 400 for about 10 minutes, it was perfect!

To assemble the salad and grab my taco bowl, filled it with lettuce and then layered it with the pork, rice, beans, cheese, dressing and tortilla strips. You can also load it all in a tortilla and eat it burrito style. It was all so good, I cried when I was full.

Oh, and this makes a lot of food, so be sure to invite a crowd over when you make it (and that better include me).

1 comment:

  1. Yay, I'm so glad you liked it! Yeah, if it had just been me eating it I would have added all the chili's but I was feeding some sensitive palattes ;). I really need to make it again, it's sooo good!