Green chili pork tostadas are tangy from the tomatillos and savory from the fat in the pork. When you build a tostada with the green chili pork and add in things like guacamole, refried beans and sour cream you get a really nice combination of flavors, without overwhelming your taste buds. You'll also end up with lots of leftovers.
However, be warned. This is a beast of a recipe. It takes a long time to make and it is labor intensive. There are a lot of different steps, and a lot of different tools and equipment are needed. You should really only make this if you have plenty, PLENTY of time and patience and perhaps someone to help.
Here are a couple things that make this meal really good:
- Pork Butt: this cut of pork is not one that you probably use all that often and it contains lots of flavorful fat that cooks down into the sauce
- Roasted tomatillos: roasting the tomatillos intensifies the flavor of the sauce, the sauce is tangy (in a good way) and a little different than what you might normally eat and really delicious
This recipe is really intense and takes a long time and lots of energy to make. You are cutting up 4 lbs of pork, roasting two sets of vegetables, searing multiple batches of pork, blending multiple batches of sauce, frying multiple tortillas, and if you are so inclined, making refried black beans and guacamole (canned beans and store bought guac is great too). The whole thing is just a lot.
It’s also really, REALLY good, and will leave you with leftovers. This usually lasts us for three to four full meals. We'll have it for dinner when we make it, have a day of leftovers, and freeze another portion of leftovers for a later time. It reheats really well. The other big plus is that once you have the pork and the green chili sauce made, you can easily reinvent this dish into something else. We'll sometimes fill a bowl with refried black beans on one side, green chili pork on the other side and scoop it up from the bowl using chips as spoons.
We’ve also made green chili pork juevos rancheros using all the same ingredients, just adding fried eggs and crispy tortillas on a plate, or alternatively layering green chili, tortillas, refried beans, and eggs in a casserole dish and baking until the eggs are cooked.
When I first made this dish, I did not trim off enough excess fat, thinking I wanted to make sure there was enough flavor. I realized, however, that the pork has so much fat within the cut of meat, that the excess fat really is excess and can be trimmed. That way you are not trying to remove the fat later (which is more laborious) or biting into chunks of fat at the end. The butcher also informed me that you really want pork butt for this type of recipe, not pork shoulder. They are not interchangeable.
I have also struggled with ensuring that the pan is not crowded when searing the pork. The pork really needs a good amount of room to sear properly, otherwise it takes forever to get the golden brown sear.
I’ll definitely be experimenting with ways to save time and energy in making this dish. I’m sure there are corners that can be cut or ways to reduce the labor intensiveness of this dish, but it does yield 4 meals so you do get a lot out of it.
Green Chili Pork Tostadas
Green Chili Pork
- 4 lbs pork butt
- 3 lbs tomatillos
- 5 cloves garlic, ends removed but not peeled
- 3 jalapeños, seeded and diced
- 3 Anaheim or poblano peppers
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced in addition to the 5 above
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- pinch ground cloves
- cup chicken stock if needed
- small flour torillas street taco sized
- refried black beans
- sour cream
Prepare the Pork
- Remove the excess fat from the outer portion of the pork butt. This cut of pork has plenty of fat. Even after trimming the excess fat from the outside there will be plenty of fat on the inside, which will cook down and contribute to the flavor of the dish. Cut the pork into 1-2 inch cubes and season with salt. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Make the Sauce
- Meanwhile, set the oven to broil.
- Remove the husks from the tomatillos, rinse, slice in half, and place cut side down on a large baking sheet. Add the unpeeled garlic. Roast under the broiler for 5-7 minutes or until lightly blackened on top. Once cooled, remove the garlic from the peel.
- Seed and slice the Anaheim peppers in half and place cut side down in a shallow baking dish. Broil until blackened, about 5-7 minutes. Keep a close eye on it. Remove from the oven and cover the baking dish with tinfoil (careful not to burn yourself). Let sit and when cool remove the skins.
- Working in batches, blend the roasted tomatillos, garlic removed from the peel, the Anaheim peppers and diced jalapeño peppers in a blender.
Sear the Pork
- Bring a large dutch oven to medium heat and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Working in batches sear the cubed pork on 2-3 sides, be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Remove and set aside. Repeat with any remaining pork.
- If you have the space and an extra heavy bottomed pot, you can always have 2 pans going at the same time. It’ll help the process go a little faster.
Bringing it all Together
- If there is excess fat in the dutch oven, remove the excess fat (leave a couple of tablespoons). Add the diced onion, and stirring, cook for about 4 minutes at medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add the tomatillo sauce, the pork, oregano and a pinch of ground cloves. If the tomatillo sauce does not cover the pork add a little bit of chicken stock until the pork is covered. Simmer for 2-3 hours.
Making the Tostadas
- Bring a large sauté pan to medium heat and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add 2-3 tortillas depending on how much space is in the pan and fry until crispy and golden brown on both sides. Set aside on a paper towel to cool.
- Top the fried tortillas with refried black beans, green chili pork, sour cream, and guacamole as desired.