This big pork shoulder was staring at me asking to be simmered in oranges, herbs and chilies. Then it said it wanted to be slow roasted. I swear it did, honest.
You see I recently went to my favorite neighborhood La Tiendita Mexicana Market and picked up these wonderful, crispy tostada shells made by Los Pericos, which are gluten free, too by the way. It’s a small, quiet market filled with all sorts of imported goodies, has a great meat counter and you can also pick up fresh masa for tamales and tortillas. They are located over at 3851 Clairemont Mesa Blvd near Clairemont Square and the LensCrafters on the corner for those living local. So needless to say I wanted to make some tostadas and decided a spiced up pulled pork would be the way to go.
When pulled pork comes to my mind I think of a BBQ styled sandwich, but I wanted Mexican flavors and got to work.
First I soaked some Arbol, California and Guajillo chilies in boiling water to rehydrate and set them aside for 20 minutes. I looked at the clock, saw time was somewhat limited and decided instead of completely slow roasting it I would do a quick simmer and then roast it to make sure the meat was super tender and able to be shredded.
Next I sliced that pork shoulder up into smaller chunks and dropped it in a big stock pot and just covered it with water. I added several chopped oranges, a onion, Mexican oregano, toasted cumin and coriander seeds and brought it to a boil, reduced the heat and simmered away for 2 hours. The house smelled amazing to say the least.
After the pork and simmered I took some of the stock out and poured it over my chiles that I had drained from soaking, into my Vitamix blender to purée. I wanted the herbs and cooking liquid over the soaked water from the chilies.
Next up I placed the pork into a baking dish, poured the beautiful chili purée over and sealed it with a sheet of plastic wrap, then aluminum foil to seal it good. Popped the thing in the oven for 4 hours at 325° and let it do it’s thing.
At the last 30 minutes I checked it, found my fork easily able to shred it and kept the wrap and foil off and got the pork crispy.
It was so easy to shred and I spooned half of the cooking chili sauce over the meat to keep moist and flavorful for making the tostadas.
Using the tostada shell as a base, I slathered on some refried beans, then the shredded pork, chopped onions and cilantro. I crumbled some wonderful Cojita cheese on top, too. This cheese is similar to a feta cheese and gives a great flavor. Served with a squeeze of lime on top and we were in heaven. Enjoy!
- 2 lb pork shoulder
- 2 oranges
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 tbsp dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
- 1 tbsp toasted cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp toasted coriander seeds
- 5 each Arbol, California and Guajillo chilies
- tostada shells
- refried beans
- onions, chopped
- cilantro, chopped
- Cotija cheese
- 2 limes
- Cover the Arbol, California and Guajillo chilies with boiling water to rehydrate and set them aside for 20 minutes.
- Slice the pork shoulder up into smaller chunks and place in a large stock pot covered with water. Add the quartered oranges, onion, Mexican oregano, toasted cumin and coriander seeds and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 2 hours.
- Drain the chilies and place into Vitamix or blender. Take a few scoops of the simmering liquid from the pork and pour it over chiles and purée until smooth.
- Placed the pork into a baking dish, pour the beautiful chili purée over. Cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap, then aluminum foil to seal it good. Bake in the oven for 4 hours at 325°. At the last 30 minutes, check it, and if a fork is easily able to shred it, keep the wrap and foil off and continue to bake until the pork crispy. If not continue to bake until fork can easily shred meat, then crisp.
- When done, remove from oven and allow to cool. Shred pork, place in a bowl and pour half the chili sauce over and toss to coat. Try to avoid the rendered fat in the pan.
- Serve on tostada shells with refried beans, chopped onions and cilantro. Top with crumbled Cotija cheese and a squeeze of lime