Saturday, July 16, 2011

Nouveau Mexican dinner in the Dutch Ovens

Out here in Utah there are several chains of restaurants that do a kind of mexican/southwest/fusion/modern sorta semi-fast food.  They’re really popular.  They started off with one and have sprouted a few copycat chains as well.

This recipe is basically a copycat of their pulled pork burrito, but, as usual, I can’t quite leave well enough alone!  So, I tweaked it up to my own style.  So, I guess it’s not authentic to the restaurant, but then, it’s not exactly authentic Mexican, anyway!

It’s basically three parts:  pulled pork, beans, and rice all tucked into a flour tortilla and folded up, with some sauces you can pour on top.  I really like it, and my version, while not exactly like the restaurant, was still a really big hit with the family.

I cooked this up in pretty large quantities for all of my wife’s family on our recent travels.  We had all gathered up at Bear Lake in northern Utah to celebrate the fourth of July, and so I cooked this for all of them.  I basically doubled the recipe below.

Part I: Pulled Pork

12” Deep Dutch oven

12-15 coals below, and the same above


  • 2 lbs pork
  • 1 can regular cola
  • ¼ cup brown sugar


  • marinaded pork
  • salt
  • Pepper
  • chili powder
  • Garlic Salt

  • 1 can diced green chilis
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 can regular cola

First I cooked the pork.  This was pretty straightforward.  I put the meat in a ziplock back with the cola and brown sugar and let it sit for a long time.  Were I to do this again, with better preparation, I would let it sit in a fridge overnight.

When the time came to cook the meat, I started up the coals.  I planned on a standard heat, but to cook it a very long time, to make it pull apart easier.  I discarded the marinade, and put the meat in to roast, with the seasonings.   After about an hour or so, I added the canned ingredients.  While it was cooking, I was a little bit worried about there being too much liquid.  I had originally thought it would be like a roast, but it really turned into a braise.  It turned out to be just right, after the pork was shredded.

Which was the final step.  After a second hour (and a half, actually.  Maybe three hours...), it was pretty much ready to fall apart.  I pulled it off the coals, but left it in the dutch oven.  I grabbed a couple of forks and pulled it apart, stirring the braising sauces in as it shredded.

I checked  it frequently for quality control, of course.  It was muy yummy!

In the final hour of cooking the meat, I also cooked the rice and the beans.

Part II: Black Beans

12” shallow Dutch Oven

18-20 coals below

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt

  • 3 cans black beans, drained
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1-2 cups tomato juice
  • lemon juice
  • chili powder
  • Cumin

  • Chopped Fresh Cilantro

It started with sauteing the first set of ingredients.  As always, when sauteing, make sure that the pan and the oil are plenty hot before adding the ingredients.

The next set of ingredients went in next, and I just let them cook together for a while.  The beans in the can are already soft, so they basically just need to simmer with the other ingredients so all the flavors develop.  Finally, just as the dish was ready to serve, I stirred in the Cilantro.

While the beans were cooking, I also made the rice.

Part III: Rice

10” Dutch Oven

12-15 coals below

  • 1 part rice
  • 1 part chicken stock (maybe more)
  • 1 part water (maybe less)
  • 1 tsp butter
  • salt
  • 3-4 minced garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • half a bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped (stirred in before serving)

I know these measurements are a little imprecise, but they work.  I don’t recall exactly how much I used, but I think there were two cups of rice and a total of four cups of liquid.  The rest is just just flavoring.

When I make rice, I put in all the ingredients, then put it on the coals.  I watch it until steam starts venting out from under the lid, and I let it cook for 5-10 minutes more.  Then I remove it from the coals and let it sit for another 10-15 minutes, to cook more and absorb more of the boiling water.  I don’t remove the lid (if I can help it) at all during the process.  Usually, if I follow this procedure, The rice will be done very nicely, ready to fluff and serve!

The dutch ovens themselves make great serving dishes, as each family member filed past and put the amount they wanted on their tortillas.  It was very filling and there was much left over!  A great time!


Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.


  1. Mark, what type of pork did you use? Was a shoulder, chops, etc?

    I'm thinking of using your recipe next week on a family camping trip.

  2. Honestly, I don't remember. All I remember was that it was a pork roast, not just thin cut pork chops. I really need to learn more about my meat cuts.

  3. Interesting post I enjoyed read this.



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