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About a month ago, as I flipped the TV on to PBS for my little guy to watch an afternoon kids show, I caught the tail end of an America’s Test Kitchen episode. I stood in front of the TV, intrigued by the recipe the chefs on the show were making–Spicy Mexican Shredded Pork Tostadas. As my little guy settled in to watch Word Girl, I hurried to my computer to find this recipe.

A few weeks later, I tackled the task of making this delish dish. Now, I did modify some of the ingredients and instructions to make a healthier version of the original recipe. For example, I used a pork sirloin tip roast instead of pork butt, and I baked the corn tortillas rather than fried them. I also reduced the amount of ground chipotle powder to 1 teaspoon (the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon) because my little guy doesn’t tend to eat spicy foods.

So here’s this scrumptious tostadas recipe:

Mexican Shredded Pork Tostadas

Original recipe from America’s Test Kitchen with modifications for a healthier version.

For the Shredded Pork Mixture:

2 pounds boneless pork sirloin tip roast

2 medium onions, 1 quartered  and 1 chopped fine

5 medium garlic cloves, 3 peeled and smashed and 2 minced

4 springs fresh thyme

Table salt

2 TBSP olive oil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce

Up to 1 TBSP ground chipotle powder (can use 2 minced chipotle chiles instead, if preferred)

2 bay leaves

For the Baked Tostadas:

12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Olive oil to brush on tortillas

Coarse sea salt, if desired


Shredded Monterrey jack cheese, fresh cilantro leaves, sour cream, diced avocado, and lime wedges


1. FOR THE SHREDDED PORK: Bring pork, quartered onion, smashed garlic cloves, thyme, 1 tsp of salt, and 6 cups of water to simmer in large saucepan over medium-high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to surface. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, cook until pork is tender, about 90 minutes.

(2) Drain pork, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Discard onion, garlic, and thyme. Return pork to saucepan, and using potato masher, mash until shredded into rough 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.

(3) Heat olive oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add shredded pork, chopped onion, and oregano. Cook, stirring often, until pork is well browned and crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

(4) Stir in tomato sauce, chipotle powder, reserved pork, cooking liquid, and bay leaves; simmer until almost all liquid is evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves. Season with salt to taste.

(5) TO BAKE TOSTADAS: Preheat oven to 450° F. Lightly brush both sides of the corn tortillas with olive oil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until light golden brown and crisp. Watch the tortillas carefully as they can easily burn at this high temperature. Season with coarse sea salt, if desired.

(6) TO SERVE: Spoon small amount of shredded pork on to center of each tostada and serve with desired garnishes.