Monday, June 13, 2011

Costa Vida Smothered Sweet Pork Burritos

     When I went to school in Utah I was blessed to discover Costa Vida  (it's not hard to do - everyone knows about it).  Costa Vida and their cousins - Cafe Rio - are popular out west.  There is one location here in Texas but it is 3 1/2 hours away.  Well anyway, they are famous for their salads and burritos... especially their sweet pork salads and burritos.  You may recall that I have already done a simple version of their salad back in December.  Well, last night it was time to try my hand at their sweet pork burritos... let me tell you, I am thrilled with how it turned out!  I wish I had taken a picture of the inside of the burrito so you could see the deliciousness going on inside but alas, you will just have to make your own to see what I am talking about!  I went to quite a few different blogs to find copycat recipes and then combined them and put my own twist on it.  The result was total restaurant quality and COMPLETE Costa Vida craving satisfaction. 
     To achieve legitimate results follow the recipe for the pork, rice, and beans.  It's really quite simple and totally worth it.  The rice recipe was adapted from the blog Marin's Creations, she's a gem for aiding in the quest for Costa Vida perfection from your own kitchen. 

3-5 lb. pork roast (mine was 3.3 lbs)
2 (12 oz.)  cans coke
1/2 c.granulated sugar
1 jalapeno - seeded and chopped
2 carrots - shredded or finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 c. brown sugar

1.  Place thawed pork roast in slow cooker. 
2.  Add remaining ingredients, EXCEPT for the brown sugar.  Stir sauce ingredients to combine.  (I did this after I poured it over the pork, you could combine all the ingredients in a separate bowl and stir, then add to crockpot but I didn't think it was necessary).
3.  Cover and cook on high 6 hours.
4.  After 6 hours, remove pork and shred.  (2 forks work just fine to pull it all apart)
5.  Return to pot, add 1/2 c. brown sugar and stir to combine sauce, shredded pork, and sugar.
6.  Reduce heat to low and cook 2-3 more hours.

INGREDIENTS - Cilantro Lime Rice
1 1/2 c. uncooked white rice
1 (15 oz) can chicken broth
1 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. butter or margarine
1 1/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 Tbl. freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tsp. granulated white sugar
4 Tbl. fresh chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS- Cilantro Lime Rice
1.  In a saucepan or rice cooker add rice, broth, water, butter, 1 1/2 tsp. lim juice, and garlic. 
2.  Cook according to package directions.
3.  When rice is moist and cooked, add 1 1/2 Tbl. lime juice, sugar, and cilantro.  Mix well.

2 (14.5 oz) cans black beans
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. ground cumin
salt to taste

1.  Empty undrained beans into a saucepant.  Add garlic, cumin, and salt.
2.  Mix well and cook on low until heated through and bubbling.

INGREDIENTS- Cilantro Ranch Dressing
1 packet Traditional Hidden Valley Ranch Mix
1 c. mayonnaise
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. salsa verde
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
juice of one lime

DIRECTIONS - Cilantro Ranch Dressing
1.  Mix all ingredients together.  That's it!  Use a blender or mix by hand.

Okay, NOW you are ready to assemble your burritos.  Each prepared ingredient is important to achieve restaurant quality flavor so I hope you didn't skip them - plain rice and beans just wouldn't be the same! 

4 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
1 (20 oz.) can red enchilada sauce
Lots of burrito sized tortillas
Toppings:  Pico de gallo (tomatoes, onion, cilantro, salt), sour cream, guacamole, and cilantro ranch dressing

1.  Preheat oven to 475 degrees. 
2.  In the middle of a tortilla, place a scoop of rice, a scoop of beans, a large scoop of pork (use a slotted spoon so some of the juice drains out), drizzle cilantro ranch dressing down the middle, and top with cheese.  Roll tortilla burrito style and place in baking dish.
3.  Repeat for all of the burritos.
4.  For a 9x13 baking dish, fill with burritos (they should be pretty fat, I fit 6 in my dish), and empty half of the enchilada sauce on top of burritos (The other half will be used in your 2nd batch of burritos).  SPRINKLE (we're not talking about a casserole here, just sprinkle some on top, there's already some in the middle!) with shredded cheese and then place in the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted. 
5.  Serve burritoes and top with desired toppings (see above, under Burrito Time)! 

Alright, I used this recipe to feed 6 adults and still had 5 burritos left over (I think I made a total of 15 burritos).  So, plan accordingly.  I just refilled the baking dish and made another batch of burritos after the first.  You could always scale it down, but a pork roast is going to make a lot regardless so be sure to freeze the leftovers if you don't need to make that many burritos in one sitting.  Either way, this is totally worth the effort.  Go make your smothered sweet pork burritos and you can thank me later!


  1. Very Good. Recommend it to all and tastes EXTREMELY close to the reglar costavida. i think that this is a much cheaper way to eat great mexican food.

  2. Solid food. Very good and i love it. thanks for the recipe.

  3. Thank you so much for this recipe! I've tried lots of different Costa Vida copycat recipes and this one was my favorite. So yummy. I used the meat recipe in sweet pork salads and just about died they were so delicious. Thanks again!

  4. I love Costa Vida's red sauce, has anyone found a copycat sauce that is similar?