Recipes with Dainess Chef’s School: Carnitas Tostada (Mexican Pulled Pork and Corn Tortillas)

Carnitas Tostada

Carnitas Tostada is a popular Mexican dish prepared by simply topping crispy fried tortillas with pork, lettuce, cheese, onion, tomato and more. Carnitas Tostada is an open face taco with a unique combination of flavours and texture which gives it an absolutely delicious and unforgettable taste.

This Carnitas Tostada recipe is really fun to make at home, you get to make them your own way by adding your favourite toppings and extras. Carnitas Tostada can be served as a main dish, a snack or appetizer. If you love to host, then treat your guest to this pleasing dish. Have fun!


  • Pork butt, boneless -4 lb. 1.8 kg
  • Lard -1 lb. 480 g
  • Water -8 fl. oz. 240 ml
  • Oranges -2
  • Garlic cloves, peeled -6
  • Onion, chopped coarse -240 g
  • Cinnamon sticks -2
  • Bay leaves -4
  • Kosher salt -2 Tbsp.
  • Mexican oregano -1 Tsp.
  • Dried thyme -1 Tsp.
  • Milk -240 ml
  • Chicken stock – 120 ml
  • Corn tortillas, deep-fried -10
  • Iceberg lettuce, chiffonade -300 g
  • Panela or farmer’s cheese , shredded -300 g
  • Tomato, medium dice – 150 g
  • Green onion, sliced – 150 g
  • Cilantro, chopped -30 g
  • Red onion rings, thinly sliced -20
  • Tomato salsa as needed                    for garnish
  • Refried beans hot: – 900 g

Onion, chopped coarse                      -120 g

Bell pepper, seeded, chopped coarse -1

Garlic, chopped                                   – 30 g

Dry pinto beans, rinsed                       – 480 g

Salted pork, diced                               -150 g

Water                                                  -2.8 lt.

Lard                                                     -180 g

Kosher salt                                          -To taste

Refried Beans Hot

  1. Bring the onion, bell pepper, garlic, beans and salted pork to a boil in a large sauce pot. Simmer uncovered stirring occasionally and adding boiling water if needed to keep the beans submerged. Simmer until beans are tender, approximately 2– 2½ hours.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add 3 ounces (120 grams) of the lard and half of the cooked beans and their cooking liquid. Carefully fry the beans until most of the liquid has evaporated, approximately 10 minutes. Crush the beans with a wooden spoon or potato masher until the mixture is thick with a few visible chunks of beans left. Season to taste with salt.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat the cooking process with remaining beans and lard.
  4. Serve the beans as a side dish with rice and cooked meat, or use as a filling or topping for burritos, enchiladas or tostadas.

Method of preparation for Carnitas Tostada

  1. Cut the pork butt into 3-inch (7.5-centimeter) pieces. In a heavy bottomed, 6-quart (5.8-liter) saucepot, combine the lard and water. Bring to a low boil and add the pork.
  2. Halve and juice the oranges. Add the juice and the squeezed orange halves to the pork.
  3. Return the pork to a low boil and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour stirring occasionally to prevent the meat from sticking. As the water evaporates, the lard will become clear and the pork will begin to brown slightly.
  4. Stir in the garlic, onion, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, salt, oregano, thyme, milk and stock. Continue cooking, uncovered, at a low boil for 1 more hour stirring often and scraping the meat from the bottom of the pan. The pork will be very tender and begin to fall apart when it is done.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the fat and drain it well. When it is cool enough to handle, pull it apart with gloved hands or chop it coarsely with a knife. Hold the meat warm for service.
  6. To build the tostadas, spread 3 ounces (90 grams) of the refried beans on each corn tortilla.
  7. Top with 1 ounce (30 grams) iceberg lettuce, 4 ounces (120 grams) of the cooked pork, 1 ounce (30 grams) cheese, 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) diced tomatoes, ½ ounce (15 grams) green onions, two red onion rings and chopped cilantro.
  8. Serve the tostadas with Pico de Gallo.

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