Tostadas de Tinga

March 14, 2010

Having been disappointed with the lack of flavor from the Carnitas, I was looking for a spicier version of Mexican pork to serve at my son Matthew’s 11th Birthday party.  Fortunately Cook’s Illustrated just published a new recipe for Spicy Mexican Shredded Pork Tostadas (Tinga) With Homemade Chorizo. For the party I doubled the recipe, and ended up with lots of leftovers (yum, just look at photo!)

Tostada of shredded pork with homemade chorizo. The only recipe variation was the addition of refried beans as the bottom layer.

I cut four pounds of pork into 1-inch cubes, seasoned and cooked in water for 90 minutes then shredded with a potato masher. I then turned an additional two pounds of pork into homemade chorizo; seasoned, chopped in a food processor and slightly cooked. The whole thing is then cooked more; with tomato sauce, chipotle (dried jalapenos) powder.

I fried the tostada shells one at a time in 3/4-inch of oil, holding each down with a potato masher.  Most of the $7 in garnishes went to avocado for the guacamole.

Everybody at the party unanimously rated this recipe 5-stars. Also, my Mexican friend explained that Tinga refers to the spicy shredded pork (not another word for tostada).  I had wanted to use the plural “Tingas”, but he explained to use the singular “Tinga”.


  1. I bought the picnic shoulder rather than the boneless butt (not available), so it took about 30 minutes to trim down.  Both cuts are from the shoulder, but I had to remove the shank.
  2. While I doubled the recipe, I did not double the 6-cups of water. 6-cups was enough to cover, and since most was discarded later I wanted to concentrate the flavors.
  3. I didn’t break the chorizo up sufficiently when cooking, so there were some larger-than-desired chunks.

Rating: 5-star.
Cost: $17.60 (for doubled recipe) plus $7 for garnishes.
How much work? High.
How big of a mess?  Huge mess.
Start time 2:00 PM. Dinnertime 6:30 PM.

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