A really fun recipe that would be such a hit for your Super Bowl Sunday – carnitas tostadas! Crispy corn tortillas with melted cheese over top, layered with the very best homemade carnitas, a vibrant + spicy hatch red chile salsa, and all your favorite toppings. The carnitas and salsa can be used in so many different ways…and you will love how easy and absolutely delicious they both are!
carnitas tostadas – the details
The two main stars of this recipe are the carnitas and the hatch red chile salsa. While I’m turning them into crispy, cheesy tostadas, you can use these two ingredients however you’d like! You could do traditional tacos or even a rice bowl of sorts. They’re both beyond flavorful, yet really simple to make.
For the carnitas, we’re starting off with a bone-in pork shoulder, also known as Boston butt. This cut of pork has beautiful marbling and lots of flavor. It gets very slowly cooked in a big pot of liquid, flavored with onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, and oregano. While it may seem intimidating to cook such a large piece of meat, you truly place everything into a pot and just let it gently cook for a few hours. Easy as that.
The result? The most tender, melt in your mouth, juicy pork. All that’s left to do is shred it up and pan-fry it so the edges get beautifully crisp, while the meat stays tender and moist. It is SO good.
For the salsa, everything gets tossed into a blender and simply blended up. The key is using roasted hatch red chiles – I found this brand at my Whole Foods and really loved it. A little onion, garlic, lime, and cilantro provide the perfect seasoning for the chiles. The salsa is bright red, bold, slightly spicy, and really fresh. And again, you can use this salsa in so many different ways on all of your favorite Mexican recipes.
Since I had the Super Bowl in mind when creating this recipe, tostadas seemed like the way to go. They’re really fun to make and of course, even better to eat. You’ll crisp up the corn tortillas right in the oven and then melt some cheese over top for the perfect cheesy base.
From there, it’s as simple as layering on the carnitas, hatch red chile salsa, and then truly whatever other toppings sound good to you – I added a little sour cream, a few shaves of radish, some cilantro, and extra lime juice for a tangy finish!
If you’re looking for other Mexican recipes, here are a few favorites:Print
Carnitas Tostadas with Hatch Red Chile Salsa
crispy, melt-in-your-mouth carnitas turned into a simple cheesy tostada with hatch red chile salsa
yield: 12 tostadas
- 4 lbs bone-in pork shoulder (“boston butt”)
- 1 qt beef stock
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 head garlic, top trimmed
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- neutral cooking oil
Hatch Red Chile Salsa
- 1 (16 oz) jar roasted hatch red chiles
- ½ small onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 limes, juiced
- ½ cup packed cilantro leaves
- 12 corn tortillas
- neutral cooking oil
- ½ lb shredded mexican cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- toppings: shaved radish, cilantro leaves, lime wedges
- Place the pork shoulder in a large Dutch oven (or heavy-bottomed pot). Pour in the beef stock. Pour in enough water to just barely cover the top of the pork. Add the onion, garlic, salt, coriander, cumin, and oregano.
- Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Turn the heat all the way low, cover the pot, and gently cook for 3 ½ hours.
- Transfer the pork shoulder to a cutting board (optional: strain the liquid, cool it down, and save it to use as a stock). Use two forks to shred the meat into small pieces.
- Heat a 12” cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom. Once hot, add half of the shredded meat in one even layer. Cook for 2 minutes or so until the bottom is crispy. Flip the meat and crisp on the other side for just a minute.
- Transfer the meat out and repeat with a little more oil and the remaining meat.
Hatch Red Chile Salsa
- Combine the hatch red chiles, onion, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender.
- Blend until a salsa consistency is created, smooth but with a little texture. Season with salt to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drizzle a thin coating of oil onto two sheet pans. Distribute 6 tortillas onto each pan, dredging each side in the oil. Season with a pinch of salt. Bake for 12 minutes, or until crisp.
- Top the crispy tortillas with cheese. Bake for another minute or so until melted.
- Build the tostadas by layering on the carnitas, salsa, sour cream, radish, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges alongside.