Spicy Shredded Pork Tostadas

I think that I’ve previously mentioned that my husband and I rarely frequent Mexican restaurants.  I guess between all types of different restaurants in the world, it’s not our “go-to.”  That being said, I DO like some Mexican food and I’ve already posted a number of Mexican inspired recipes on this blog from Fish Tacos, to Chicken Enchiladas, to Chicken Quesadilla Pie.

I came across this recipe over the weekend, and to be honest, I’d never even heard of Tinga or Tostadas before.  However, I did know that I didn’t see a single ingredient in the recipe that I didn’t like.  Spicy shredded pork served on a crunchy tortilla with all of my favorite Mexican garnishes.  Sign me up, please!

This meal is actually incredibly easy to make.  You basically just throw a bunch of pork in some water flavored with onion, garlic, and thyme and let it simmer for 75-90 minutes until tender.  Mash up the pork, throw in a few extra ingredients, throw it on a crunchy tortilla, and top with garnishes of your choosing.  So incredibly simple.

Start with the pork butt.  Trim down all the excess fat and then cube into 1-inch pieces.

Put the cubed pork in a large saucepan or Dutch Oven and add 6 cups of water, a quartered onion, 3 peeled and smashed garlic cloves, salt, and thyme sprigs.

Bring the water to simmer over medium-high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and partially cover, cooking for 75-90 minutes until meat is tender.

Drain the pork, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid for later use.  Discard the onion, garlic, and thyme.

Return the pork to the pan and smash the pork into 1/2 inch shredded pieces with a potato masher.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add the shredded pork, chopped onion, and dried oregano.  Cook 7 to 10 minutes until the pork is brown and crispy around the edges.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer until fragrant.

Stir in the tomato sauce, chipotle powder or chopped chipotles in adobo, the reserved cooking liquid, and bay leaves.  Simmer 5 to 7 minutes until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove and discard bay leaves and season with salt to taste.

Meanwhile, fry up your corn tortillas in 3/4 cup of vegetable oil.  Using a fork, poke the center of each tortilla 3 to 4 times (this helps allow for even cooking).  Heat the oil to 350 degrees and fry each tortilla for 45 to 60 seconds.  You can either use the potato masher to submerge the tortilla in oil (which allows you to skip the step of flipping), or you can flip the tortilla halfway through.  Drain on paper towel-lined plate and season with salt to taste.

To serve, spoon small amount of shredded pork onto center of each tostada and serve, passing garnishes separately.

If you’d prefer not to make the tostadas, this filling could easily be incorporated into a burrito or used in a hard taco shell.

I will certainly be making these again!  Incredibly flavorful with the perfect amount of spice.


  • 2 pounds boneless pork butt , trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch pieces (see note)
  • 2 medium onions , 1 quartered and 1 chopped fine
  • 5 medium garlic cloves , 3 peeled and smashed and 2 minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  •   Table salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground chipotle powder, or two minced chipotles in adobo
  • 2 bay leaves


  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (see note)
  •   Table salt


  •   Queso fresco or feta cheese
  •   Fresh cilantro leaves
  •   Sour cream
  •   Diced avocado
  •   Lime wedges

Serves 4 to 6

Adapted Recipe, America’s Test Kitchen, Season 11: Tostadas and Empanadas


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Pork, Recipes

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