Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

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This is far and away my favorite pulled-pork recipe.  Despite the fact that it has more than one step, it’s still dead easy, and yum-alicious every time.  Even the slow-cooking novice can nail this on the first try.

In the name of full disclosure, I kaifed this recipe from my friend’s blog and made some simplifications to it (seriously, I couldn’t be bothered to measure out half-cans of cola [eyeroll] ) but you can find the original (and supremely yummy) recipe here.

Also: be sure NOT to use diet cola.  No diet allowed.

Ingredients Total time required: 6 1/2 hours Serves: 4-5 adults
2 lbs pork roast For the marinade: For the sauce:
2 cans cola 1 can cola 1 can sliced green chilies, mild spiciness
1 tsp garlic salt 1/4 c light brown sugar 1 can enchilada sauce, med spiciness
1 c light brown sugar


  1. Ziptop bag >> pork roast.  can of cola.  brown sugar.
    Burp the bag (squeeze all the air out) and massage until sugar is dissolved.  Marinate in the refrigerator at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
  2. Drain the marinade.
    Slow cooker >> pork.  two (new) cans cola.   garlic salt.
    Cook until just barely cooked through and shreds easily, but isn’t too dry.  With my slow-cooker, that’s 3 hours on med-low.*
  3. Shred the pork.*  Toss the cooking liquid.
  4. Blender >> chilies.  enchilada sauce.  1 cup brown sugar.  Puree until smooth.*
  5. Slow cooker >> meat.  sauce.  Stir.
    Cook on low for 2 more hours.
    Serve over rice, in sandwiches, or just eat it straight.

This recipe freezes really well, is great at any temperature, makes every palate happy (haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like it, including kids) and is dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, corn-free, melon-free, low-fat, and low-sodium, but not low-sugar.  Not sure about the calories, but it’s pork so there’s only so bad it can be.  Oh, and it’s not kosher.  Sorry.  Oh well…



    • Admittedly, I skip the first step and just jump to this step, and don’t bother defrosting the meat before starting it cooking.  Just make sure the meat is cooked through before going to the next step.  If it’s not frozen when you start, you might need to adjust the cooking time.
    • How to know if your pork is under cooked, over-cooked or just right:
      • Overcooked = it’s really really hard to shred the pork.
        Just right = it’s easy to shred the pork, and it’s soft and moist and lovely.
        Undercooked = It’s still bright pink, the juices don’t run clear, and/or it’s still one solid, un-shred-able mass.
  • If the sauce looks too thick after pureeing it, add cola or water, little by little,  until it reaches your desired consistency.

3 thoughts on “Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

  1. I made some shredded pork the other day that we loved. It didn’t use cola though although I’ve been seeing recipes like that more. Ours did have the enchilada sauce… I’m being supremely lazy and not getting up to look up the recipe.

  2. I use the cola because it comes premade and premeasured, but it’s just supposed to be the cooking liquid. Some people use stock, others use just straight water. What other recipes have you seen it used in? I’m really curious about your recipe too, because I love pulled pork, especially because it’s so great to freeze and have ready, but I don’t care for the barbecue version so I’m looking for more sauce ideas.

  3. Pingback: Wanted: Job For Blender. Will Work For Keep. | This Disorganized Life

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