(That picture looks like the chicken salad, not the pork, but that's how the salad looks.. you get the idea!)
If anyone hasn't had Cafe Rio or Costa Vida sweet pork, you are missing out big time! Their pork salads or pork burritos are to die for! About a year ago, I found a recipe just like it, that is so easy, it's crazy! Some of you may have this recipe already, but if you don't, I'm telling you, TRY IT!! I also found a cilantro lime dressing that compliments it SO well, it's pretty close to the one at Costa Vida too. Anyways, I made it for dinner tonight, so I thought I'd share for those of you who haven't made it before.
Now the pork is just 3 ingredients. Yeah, you heard me!
1. Boneless Pork Roast (I use about a 2 or 3lb roast)
2. 1 and 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
3. 2 cups salsa (mild, medium or hot, whatever you like, I use chunky cause that's what I usually have on hand)
(DON'T BE SKEPTICAL OF THE SALSA.. When I heard this recipe, I thought, "Costa Vida sweet pork does not taste like salsa at all, it's just sweet and juicy and tender and delicious, it can't be made of salsa.."
I'm telling you, the salsa combined with the brown sugar, mixed with the pork juices combine into something sweet and juicy and meaty, with a little kick, it's awesome!)
Just combine the brown sugar and salsa in a crock pot, and then add the pork roast, and spoon some of the sauce over the roast. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until tender, (spooning the sauce over the roast several times) then take the roast out, shred it with two forks, and then put it back in the sauce to simmer at least another 1 hour or longer to really soak up the juices. Then you're done! If it seems like it's getting dry while it's simmering, add more salsa and brown sugar! It needs to be juicy!
At the restaurant, they do the pork salad as follows, which I always try to replicate, cause it's AWESOME!
1st- fried tortilla on the bottom
2nd- long grain rice (I've used vermicelli) and black beans
3rd- sweet pork
5th- pico de gallo
7th- crunchy tortilla strips
8th- grated parmesan cheese
9th- Cilantro Lime dressing (recipe below!)
(If you don't want to use all the ingredients, I would at least do the tortilla, pork, lettuce and the special dressing. Any other toppings are optional, but add a LOT of awesomeness! Especially when combined together!)
Cilantro Lime Dressing
*1 Buttermilk Ranch dressing packet
*1/2 c buttermilk (I never have buttermilk, so I always substitute one of these two alternatives:
a - Pour 1 TBSP Vinegar and the rest of the 1/2 cup with milk
b - 1/2 cup mayo or miracle whip
*1/2 c sour cream
*1 clove garlic (if I don't have real garlic, I've used garlic powder)
*juice of 1 lime (important)
*cilantro (very important!)
*Green salsa 1/2 cup (or a little more if you want a little more kick)
I just combine all the ingredients in my blender and pretty much puree it until it's a thick salad dressing consistency.
On top of the sweet pork, there's not a better combination! Seriously, it's worth it! I didn't have cilantro, so tonight I didn't make the dressing, and I just used ranch.. um, I won't do that again, it's just not the same! (my husband was kinda sad that I didn't do the dressing! whoops!)
Let me know if you try this and like it.. or don't like it (which I doubt =), but I'd love to hear if you try it!