Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa

This is the best copy-cat Cafe Rio recipe I have tried for the pork.

Never had so many brothers and brothers-in-law compliment something I made. You gotta try it!

Total cooking time: 18 hours

5-6 lb. pork roast
1 liter Dr. Pepper (or Coke, do NOT use diet soda)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
7 oz. can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
6 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. (I started my Pork Adventure at 6pm on Saturday and everything worked out perfectly for Sunday dinner.) After 12 hours, drain pork. Remove fat if any.

Mix remaining ingredients until sugar dissolves. I didn’t keep the actual chilies, I dumped the can into a bowl and added enough Dr. Pepper to get all the sauce off of the chilies, then I tossed them. I also rinsed out the can with Dr. Pepper for more adobo goodness. My version had a fairly good kick to it, but if you LOVE hotness, then blend everything + 2 or 3 chilies in the blender. (Also, the adobo sauce tends to stain plastic, using a glass or metal mixing bowl will make your clean-up of adobo sauce considerably less frustrating).

Add Dr. Pepper mixture to the roast and cook on low an additional 4 hours.

Take out roast and shred, add back into sauce and cook for 2-4 more hours. At this point the meat was so tender it practically shredded itself.

My sauce had too much liquid (from Dr. Pepper) so I let it cook on low in the crock pot without the lid for about 1 supervised hour to let the extra moisture evaporate.



Rachel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel said...

I just tried this recipe, and while I liked the flavor, there was a lot more heat than we wanted. (I did as was suggested, and rinsed off the peppers with Dr. Pepper, and didn't add in any of the actual peppers to the meat.) I think next time, I'll only add in the adobo sauce from about half of the peppers or so.

Alice Wills Gold said...

thanks for the recipe. I had gotten this from a friend a while back and lost the recipe card. Found you on google. I am going to try this tomorrow. Hope it works..we are having company.

Caitlin said...

I've been using your recipe forever so it's about time I finally posted a comment here! I moved away from Utah almost four years ago (*sniff*) and I miss Cafe Rio terribly. Miss isn't a strong enough word. I PINE for Cafe Rio. I ACHE for Cafe Rio. I made this last summer and actually got choked up when I tasted it. It's so dead-on! Bravo, my friend. Bra-Vo.

Darin and Betty Jo said...

This recipe is so good that I think I am going to open my own restaurant called, "Rafe Cio"!

LVCouponGirl said...

I just read this yesterday morning, headed to the store and bought ingredients and got started last night. I just got passed the shredding stage about an hr ago and couldn't resist sneaking a taste, our mouths have been watering for this all day! Anyway, this recipie is SPOT ON our fav Cafe Rio in Vegas tended to have a little more heat than the others, Go Figure... So this recipie was PERFECTION!!! I let my 17 yr old son have a little taste as well to see what he thought and he was absolutely GIDDY! OMG Mom that is the best thing I ever ate!!!!
Thank you sooooo much for posting, this will be a regular at my house.

Andrew Pohot said...

This recipe is so good that it won me the peoples choice award at a crock pot challenge. I have also been told that I could easily market it and sell it.