Sunday, November 8, 2009

Copycat Cafe Rio From Someone Who Has Never Eaten There

My recipe for the pork differs a little from some available on the internet because I have tried it before and found there to be WAY too much liquid even though I cooked up twice as much meat with it. So, I've adjusted the liquid. Also the bean recipe is different because I found the beans to be a little bland and decided to flavor it up a bit, so it's not the Cafe Rio copycat, but it's slightly sweet and goes perfect with the pork and rice.

Café Rio Sweet Pork

4 lbs pork roast or tri-tip
1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes in puree***
3 tsp pressed garlic
2 cups brown sugar
1 round Tbl. Cumin
3 C Dr. Pepper
4 Tbsp molasses
1/2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
Lg. pinch red pepper flakes

Place pork in crock-pot. Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl, and then pour over meat. Cook on high for 4 hours then switch to low for 4-6 more hours.

When done, remove meat from crock pot, reserving liquid. Shred meat with a forks in extra large bowl. Add 1-2 cups liquid into bowl with meat and mix. Allow to set a little to absorb sauce

***I found this recipe had entirely too much liquid in it.  I substituted 1 small can tomato paste, the Dr. Pepper provides A LOT of liquid, plus what the meat puts out itself.  You could even cut back on the Dr. Pepper to 1 1/2 -2 cups. 
Lime Rice
I prepared this in a rice cooker, if you cook on the stove, you will need a little additional liquid.

1/2 stick butter
2 1/2 C (uncooked) rice
3 1/2 C chicken broth
3/4 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
Zest and Juice 2 limes
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp cumin or a few drops of sriracha sauce

Rinse rice in colander until water runs clear and then put into bowl of rice cooker. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Set rice cooker on "white rice" setting. This takes approx. 30 minutes.

Creamy Cilantro Dressing

1 16 oz jar of green tomatillo based salsa or enchilada sauce
1 pkg buttermilk ranch dressing (dry)
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C mayonnaise
1/2 C buttermilk(or milk mixed with 2 tsp. lime juice and "curdled")
1 C fresh cilantro
2 cloves pressed garlic
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 C sugar
A few drops of Sriracha
Blend all ingredients together in blender until smooth and creamy.

Black Beans

2 cloves pressed garlic
1 15 oz. can black beans rinsed and drained
1 22 oz. can Bush's Steakhouse Beans

Bring all ingredients in saucepan to a boil, cover and let simmer about 5 minutes. Mash with potato masher until desired consistency. Serve on tortillas with shredded pork and rice.

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