Not Another Boring Cola Roast

There are tons of different ways to cook a Cola Roast -- but this one is the best and is most certainly NOT BORING!! Uses Coke, brown sugar, rump roast. DELICIOUS!
photo by Waffles McBillionaire @TiredMambo

Happy July! Are you gearing up for the Fourth? I love the 4th of July -- I especially like going for walks and seeing all the flags -- they make me feel protected and proud.

We always have typical American food on the 4th, which to my family means the staples: hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, and corn on the cob (don't worry, I'll sneak a crockpot or two in there--- probably with some baked beans). It's my grandma's birthday, and we'll finish our meal with chocolate cake.

I'm looking forward to it.

I've got a great recipe for you today, perfect if you end up with leftover soda after your Independence Day festivities. Sometimes cola roasts can seem a bit one-note. This one is not. I've made it a few times, now, and really appreciate how the canned chiles and smoky chipotle hit all sides of your tongue.

The photo below has a small piece of meat shown; I was recipe-testing when I snapped that photo. If you do use a small piece of meat, move down to a 4-quart slow cooker.

The Ingredients.
serves 6 (if you shred the meat and serve in sandwiches, you can feed 8-10)

4 pound pork roast (bone in or out; I've used both pork tenderloin and a shoulder/butt)
1 (7-ounce) can fire roasted diced green chiles
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper (remember, the canned chipotles in adobo are not gluten free)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup cola

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Place the meat into the bottom of your cooker. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chiles, tomato paste, cumin, garlic powder, chili pepper, sugar, and salt. Stir to create a paste, and then smear this mixture on all sides of your meat. If you have time to do so, you can marinate your meat in this mixture overnight (in a sealed plastic bag or tupperware; it's not recommended to refrigerate the stoneware and then cook in it).
Pour in cola.
Cover, and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until pork has relaxed and begun to fall apart. If you used pork tenderloin, slice thinly and serve over rice or mashed potatoes. If you opted for a shoulder roast, shred completely using two large forks.


The Verdict.

I like how the resulting pork is sweet but not in-your-face sticky sweet. It's got a bit of a kick, but it's not spicy enough to deter small children. I think I might like the cold leftovers even better--- I toasted hamburger buns (we use the Udi's brand) and added pickle relish and sliced cheddar for a next-day sandwich.

Have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July, and happy birthday to Grandma Bunny!!

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at July 02, 2012

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What they say about this article

  1. Bookmarked! This sounds wonderful.

  2. WOW! PERFECT TIMING! I just put a roast in the crock pot a dumped diet coke on top of it (from a 1/2 empty 2 ltr bottle). Although I added a few shakes of this & that... it's nothing like your's. I'm running back into the kitchen now to do what you've done!
    THANKS! :)

  3. My Grandmother's birthday is also July 4! I have always loved our family traditions of getting together to honor not only our nation’s independence but her birthday. Oh, and as a kid I was always thought it was so cool that she got a fireworks show just for her on her special day!

  4. this sounds really good. never made anything with cola before so should be interesting to try.
    Happy 4th !!

  5. It is very hot in Ontario so I am going to try your recipe for salmon packets in the slow cooker.
    Happy 4th!

  6. runningafter37/04/2012

    I really don't like Coke (or any cola for that matter), does this favour come through in the meal? Or does it just combine/blend in with the other ingredients?

  7. Lisa in CO7/09/2012

    I had all the ingredients except for the roast, so i tried this with the chicken thighs i'd taken out of the freezer. Also, due to sugar issues, i used diet cola and brown sugar twin. Holy cow, this was good. house smelled fantastic and lots of yummy leftover sauce. Eating 2 thighs over salad today for lunch at work. thanks for another good one! Lisa :)

  8. Anonymous7/09/2012

    Stephanie, I did the Pork Roast on Sunday; adjusted the seasoning because roast were 3.17#, did a 5oz can of fire roasted green chiles, 1 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar a 14.5oz can of tomato sauce, a full 12oz can of coke and cooked for 12 hours,; very tender, flavorful and looked just as your picture shows with the exception of mine having a little more thickened juice with the lid opened slightly the last 30 minutes. However, I did go to 4 stores looking for the Chipotle Chili powder when it should have been Chipotle Chili Pepper, after enlarging the picture that is exactly what you have there; McCormicks Chipotle Chili Pepper. Please make changes so that no one else run around like a chicken with their heads chopped off or asking for assistance for something that isn't. I will definately prepare this again, my family liked the different flvor and had many seconds from each of them. We En-joyed.

  9. @anon, oh I'm so sorry. I hate it that I mistyped powder instead of pepper and hate it even more that you ran all over town trying to find something that doesn't exist! gah!
    I've corrected the ingredient list, and again, I am SO sorry this happened.

    and YAY on enjoying your dinner and the leftovers! oxox

  10. What do you mean they aren't gluten-free? Is it the vinegar? My life (in the kitchen)is ruined if this is true...

  11. Hi Val, no-- the vinegar is okay. the canned chiles have wheat flour in the adobo sauce for thickening. this is the variety readily available in the stores, here (CA), and they all have wheat, which is why I always use the powder.

  12. We use root beer to slow cook chicken or pork. After shredding, just add your favorite BBQ sauce. Delish!

  13. I can't wait to try this! It is brutal here in NYC and I have been making cold dinners as I don't want to heat the house. I never thought to use my slow cooker in the summer.. Thank you..Love pork! Congrats on being named on the list of food bloggers..Cool!

  14. Kelbel8/01/2012

    Hi Steph! Just fyi, San Marcos brand of chipotles in adobo are gluten free. I think the Goya are too.

  15. TwoDiffSocks8/02/2012

    Hi Ya'll,

    can you make this WITHOUT the soda--we dont drink soda or make a healthier substitution?

    Thanks in Advance