One of the most popular requests from my blog survey was more quick and easy dinner ideas. So I am making a commitment to you – right here and now! I will post at least one new quick and easy dinner idea each week. Promise. Or rather I will really, really try hard.
Today’s quick and easy dinner idea is a bit of a cheat as it is a recipe I shared back in November of 2007, just a few months after I started my blog. Since this recipe is buried deep in the archives of the blog and the fact that it has no photos qualified it for a recipe redo. Also, the fact that is delicious and one of my favorite dinners is another reason!
Cafe Rio is a Utah based restaurant which has now spread into California and Arizona (you lucky people, you!) but sadly has not come to Oregon yet. So each time I visit Utah, which is quite often as the result of all four of my children currently residing in the state, a visit to Cafe Rio is required at least once.
One of my favorite dishes to get there is their sweet pork. I love it in a burrito or in a salad.
We had friends for dinner this week and I needed something that was easy and delicious and could be done ahead of time or in the crock pot. Cafe Rio Sweet Pork qualifies on all four counts! It was so fun to share their first “Cafe Rio experience” with them. They loved it!!
I purchased pork carnitas from the store but you could use pork roast or shoulder. Just get the least expensive cut of pork you can find.
There are lots of different sweet pork recipes out there in the blogosphere and I have experimented with a lot of them. In fact the original sweet pork recipe I posted back in 2007 is different than the one I am posting today. I have found a new favorite.
I marinaded the pork for a couple of hours in a can of coke (can use caffeine free if you’d like but don’t use diet!) along with some brown sugar. After it marinades pour all of it into the crock pot and let it cook away for hours.
About an hour before serving pull it out of the crockpot and shred it. Put the meat back into the crock pot (discard the liquid) and add in enchilada sauce,
Allow it to cook in the crockpot for another 30 -60 minutes. If there is too much sauce drain some off. You don’t want it too soupy. I like to serve it along with lime cilantro rice and black beans (recipe coming soon.) Top it with a little Monterey Jack or cotija cheese and wrap it up in a tortilla for a delicious quick and easy meal.
It is also great in a taco or a quesadilla. I’ll be back on Monday to show you my most favorite way of eating it!
One of my favorite ways to use the sweet pork is in a Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad.
- 2-3 lbs. boneless pork (carnitas, shoulder etc)
- 1 12 ox. can Coke
- ¼ c brown sugar
- 1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 small can diced greenchileis
- ¾ C brown sugar
- Marinade pork for at least 2 hours or overnight in can of coke and ¼ C brown sugar.
- Pour pork and liquid into crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
- Remove meat and shred. Discard liquid
- Put meat back in crock pot and add enchilada sauce, garlic, green chilies and brown sugar.
- Cook for 30-60 more minutes. If there is excess liquid drain some off.
Adapted from Real Mom Kitchen