A tostada is basically an open-faced taco, and carnitas tostadas are my absolute favorite. Usually it takes hours of simmering, but with this Instant Pot version you can have fresh and crispy carnitas in half the time. Let me be clear, carnitas aren’t carnitas if you don’t crisp them up in the pan before serving. Otherwise, it’s just braised pork and I feel very strongly about this. Carnitas are made with pork shoulder which is a pretty fatty cut, so crisping up a little of that fat really makes such a difference.
If you’re gearing up for a Cinco de Mayo party and need an easy meal, these are the perfect appetizer or main dish! It’s delicious finger food, and it can easily feed a crowd. It can even be a build-your-own situation for easy serving and I’m all about making hosting a party easier! I’m a huge topping person, and so these tostadas are topped with all the avocado, radishes, jalapeno, cilantro, cotija, and a delicious cilantro crema situation.
tips for making instant pot carnitas
The best part about instant pot carnitas tostadas is that they can be made ahead of time! You can make them a couple of days in advance, and then refrigerate before shredding and crisping them up.
The crisping of the carnitas is necessary! I usually heat my cast iron up and then throw the shredded carnitas in a single layer and crisp them up for about 3-5 minutes and then flip. This is essential for their flavor!
I love to use beer in this recipe, but you can substitute water or broth. The beer just adds flavor, but all the alcohol cooks out.
You can totally buy premade tostada shells, or you can make your own easily. Either way!