This is a “drop the mic” dinner recipe.
I realize that is a weird way to start a blog post. Usually “drop the mic” sentiments wrap things up, right?. But this is a culinary masterpiece; I needed to put the “OMG THIS IS ALL I WANT TO EAT FOR FOREVER THANK YOU VERY MUCH” feeling out there right away.
I know I sound really high up on my horse right about now, but you guys, these tostadas are SERIOUSLY one of the best things I’ve ever made. Dan just about lost his pork-lovin’ mind over these. We both did!
Modesty be damned!
Let’s break it down.
Tostadas are a treat, for sure. Crispy, fried tortillas topped with meat, cheese, and any other number of toppings. You can make them any which way you like (I’m thinking a refried bean version is in my near future). They are cheesy meat heaven on a plate.
This version starts with a slow cooker pulled pork recipe that could not be easier to put together. It really is ridiculously easy. You coat a small pork shoulder (I prefer boneless) with spices, salt, and pepper and sear it on all sides until golden and crisp. Then, you cook it in your slow cooker with a jar of salsa verde until it falls apart.
That. Is. It.
The result? Some of the most succulent, flavor-packed pulled pork I’ve ever had. The salsa verde reduces down and is the perfect “sauce” to coat the shredded pork in – it still retains some acidity and freshness while rounding out all the savory, meaty notes of the pork.
Gah. It is SO good.
I’ve made this pork several times, usually for tacos. This time, however, I wanted to switch it up a bit and go with a tostada. Because what’s not to love about a tostada? I could eat fried tortillas every day for the rest of my life and not get sick of them.
I pile shallow-fried (no deep frying involved!) flour tortillas high with the pork, shredded Monterey jack cheese, and a fresh and crunchy salad that is loaded with flavor. Pickled jalapenos and lime juice and tons of crunchy veg. It is the perfect topping for the rich and cheesy tortillas. It adds acidity, brightness, and most importantly, CRUNCH.
I like to top these with a drizzle of ranch dressing (because I’m obsessed), another spritz of fresh lime juice, and some sliced avocado for good measure. Why cut corners now? We’ve already gone this far. Go on, love yourself. Add that ranch and avocado. In my opinion, they both play a big role in making these tostadas awesome.
Now, I’ll be crystal clear with you: this recipe takes some time. Any time you’re making pulled pork, it takes time. And then you have to shallow fry the tortillas. That part doesn’t take long, but it is an extra (and completely necessary!!!) step. Do it. Don’t skip it.
I like to the prep the tortillas in one large batch and keep them out a room temperature for a day or two so we can use them as we need them. They actually get crispier the longer they hang out, which makes them ideal for holding up to all the toppings.
For instance, I made the pork one Saturday morning and prepped the tortillas at the same time. While the pork cooked, I prepped the salad toppings and popped everything in the fridge until I was ready to assemble.
The active cook time was maybe 30-40 minutes? And this fed us for a few nights straight. Prep once, eat thrice. I love when that happens.
I can’t get over how great these came out. I mean, I had a feeling they would be pretty spectacular because it’s all my favorite savory things happening in once bite, but these blew away my expectations.
They’re definitely one of my favorite recipes to date! And definitely worthy of a “mic drop” status.
Sooo, with that said: MIC DROP, BABY.Print
For the Pulled Pork:
- 2 lb boneless pork shoulder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 (16-oz) jar salsa verde
For the Tostadas:
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 10 flour tortillas (6-inch)
- The pulled pork
- 2 cups grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
- 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup finely diced red onion
- ½ cup diced scallions
- ½ cup pickled jalapenos
- 2 ears fresh corn, kernels removed from cobs
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- Lime wedges
- Avocado slices
- Ranch dressing, for drizzling (optional)
For the Pulled Pork:
- Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Mix together the spices, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and sprinkle the mixture evenly over all sides of the pork, pressing it gently into the meat.
- If you have a sear option on your slow cooker, heat the oil directly in the cooker. If you don’t have this option, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium-high heat on the stove.
- Add the pork and sear until a golden crust forms on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
- If using the slow cooker only, change the cook setting to LOW and pour in the salsa verde. If using a pot/skillet, transfer your seared pork shoulder to the slow cooker, add in the salsa verde, and set to LOW.
- Cook on LOW for 8 hours, or until the pork is fall-apart tender and easily shreds with a fork.
- Remove the pork from the pot and shred with two forks.
- Meanwhile, simmer the residual cooking liquid from the slow cooker until reduced slightly and somewhat thickened, about 5 minutes (again, I can do this directly in my slow cooker, but if you don’t have this function, do this step in a saucepan on the stove).
- Toss the shredded pork with enough of the reduced cooking liquid to moisten and coat the pork. Season, to taste, with additional salt and pepper. Keep warm until you are ready to serve.
For the Tostadas:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with foil.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over high until it shimmers. Add the tortillas, one at a time, to the hot oil and cook for 20-30 seconds per side, or until the tortillas are golden and crisp (they may puff up a bit as they cook).
- Remove the tortillas from the hot oil and allow to drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. They will crisp up as they cool. Continue until all the tortillas have been crisped.
- Layer each crispy tortilla with some of the pulled pork and grated cheese. Place the filled tortillas on the prepared baking sheet and then place in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Meanwhile, toss the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, scallions, jalapenos, corn, and fresh cilantro together in a bowl. Squeeze over the juice of 1 lime, season with salt and pepper, and toss again.
- Remove the tostadas from the oven and top with the lettuce mixture. Top each tostada with avocado slices and a drizzle of ranch dressing. Serve while warm with additional lime wedges on the side.