Anywaysers, like I was saying it’s Friday. Last day of school for my now official first grader. WHAT?????!!!! And you know what that means right? Time for some good eatin’. Time to throw a tostada party—like a taco bar but with crispy, fried tortillas that get topped with all kinds of goodness.
On the menu for tonight is the most yieldingly tender braised pork, classic refried black beans and an incredible arbol chile sauce that gives the tostadas a tongue-tingling jolt. The fun part of any tostada party is that you can just lay out all the fixins and everyone can make their own, piling their tortillas with whatever combination floats their boat (read: great for feeding kids).
This summer’s going to be a doozy what with travel, kids, pool passes, and who knows what else. I want you guys to summer along with me. Where are you going? Europe? Disneyland? Your backyard? What are you excited about? What do you want to learn?
I wish I was going to the Italian Rivera to spend the summer lounging on the beach and eating incredible food but instead I just watched this awesome video on how to change the oil in my lawn mower. For me this summer is going to be about tackling those things that I’ve put off forever. Learning, evolving, growing. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by it all but deep breaths, deep breaths.
So let’s get started. Let’s make some tostadas, drink a cold one, and get ready to do this thang.
- 2 pounds pork shoulder
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 7 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 7 arbol chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 12 tostada shells
- Refried black beans
- Cilantro-Lime Coleslaw
- Cotija cheese
- To make the pork, heat oven to 325°F. Cut pork into 3 or 4 large pieces and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a large, shallow, oven-safe Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add pork and cook, undisturbed until brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Turn and continue cooking until brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are browned. Add bay leaf and chicken broth and scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Return pork to the pan, cover and transfer to the oven. Let cook until meat easily shreds with a fork, about 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place ancho and arbol chiles in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Place softened chiles plus 3/4 cup of their cooking liquid in a blender along with the remaining sauce ingredients. Blend until very smooth. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
- When the pork is tender, remove pan and shred into large pieces. Mix in the onions and garlic and transfer to a serving plate.
- Spread some beans on the tostada shell, then top with pork, sauce, slaw, guacamole, and cheese.