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smotheres burrito with sweet pulled pork

Cafe Rio Sweet Shredded Pork for Burritos

This sweet shredded pork tastes even BETTER than Cafe Rio, I promise! Use this pork to make giant burritos smothered with Cilantro-Tomatillo Dressing, or an amazing pork salad. Or throw it in some enchiladas. You can't go wrong! It's so easy to make in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 503kcal
Author Karen


For the pork

  • 3-4 pound pork butt
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 (8.25-oz) jar Adobo Sauce
  • 1 (12-oz) can Coke (1 and 1/2 cups) (NOT diet! No coke zero!)
  • 1 cup sugar*
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

For the Cilantro-Tomatillo Ranch

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (.4-oz) package buttermilk ranch dressing (put it in dry)
  • 1 serrano pepper seeded and roughly chopped
  • 3 tomatillos chopped
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1-5 tablespoons milk if needed

Serve with

  • shredded lettuce
  • hot rice
  • black beans warmed
  • sour cream
  • avocados or guacamole
  • Cotija cheese


Slow Cooker instructions:

  • Place the pork roast in the slow cooker and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine Adobo sauce, the can of coke, sugar, garlic, cumin, mustard powder, and chili powder. Use a whisk or a wooden spoon to try to break up the Adobo sauce. It's stubborn but you don't need to stress about it. Some lumps are okay.
  • Pour the sauce over the top of the pork.
  • Cover with the lid and cook on high for 3-5 hours. OR cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  • Remove to a platter and shred the pork.

Instant Pot instructions:

  • In the Instant Pot, whisk together the can of coke, sugar, garlic, cumin, mustard powder, and chili powder. Whisk until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
  • Use a sharp serrated knife to cut your pork roast into 4 large chunks. Season each one with salt and pepper.
  • Place the pork roast chunks in the Instant Pot. Turn them over to coat both sides in the sauce.
  • Scrape the entire jar of Adobo sauce on top of the pork. Do NOT add it to the liquid at the bottom of the pot. The Adobo sauce needs to sit on top of the pork, otherwise the mixture will be too thick, and your instant pot won't come to pressure. 
  • Seal the lid on top.
  • Pressure cook on manual setting for 1 hour.**
  • At this point you can either release the lid naturally or follow manual instructions to do a quick release. Be careful! You don't want to get a steam burn.
  • Scrape the cooked Adobo sauce into the liquid. Remove meat to a platter and shred the pork. Whisk the adobo sauce into the liquid until smooth. If it seems oily or thin, turn the Instant pot onto the sauté setting and sauté on low for 5 minutes so that it comes together. You can add the meat back in while it is sautéing. (Or just add the meat back in if it doesn't need the sauté.) 

For the ranch:

  • Add all the ingredients except the milk to a blender and process until smooth. Add milk a tablespoon at a time if it needs to be thinned out.
  • Serve the pork with shredded lettuce, hot rice, black beans***, sour cream, avocados or guacamole, and cotija cheese or queso fresco. If you can't find that kind of cheese, shredded cheddar or jack cheese will taste good too!
  • Serve with tortillas to make burritos, or serve with lots of lettuce to make salads.


 *Eric's original recipe actually calls for 1 and 1/2 cups sugar to go in the pork, but I like the sweetness level a little lower, so I used 1 cup. Feel free to add that extra 1/2 cup if you want it very sweet. 
**If you take your pork out and it is not shredding easily, put it back in for another 10 minutes. Pork roast should be cooked in the pressure cooker about 15 minutes per pound, so adjust time accordingly.
***The black beans don't need to be super fancy. I opened the can and heated them with a little garlic (from a jar) and tossed in some of the extra chopped cilantro.
Source: my brother Eric. Thanks Eric!!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 503kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 4461mg | Potassium: 563mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 3mg