Cut into chunks, 3-4 inches long. (This helps the pieces be shorter later like carnitas.)
Season liberally all over with season-salt and sear on all sides in a hot pan with cooking spray to lock in flavor. Get a nice brown crust on it.
Move to a crock pot and cover with the salsa, garlic, and onion and cook for 4-6 hours or until tender. Shred it and toss in juices.
***You can either use the meat like this, or spread it on a pan and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes to get some crispy pieces, more like authentic carnitas. OR... my favorite way (especially with the leftovers) is just crisp up as much as you need in a hot fry pan. Quicker than the oven and SOO good when it gets a good brown on it! For the Quick Fat-Free Chipotle Sour Cream (update: it's since earned it's own blog post so if you want more details it's linked here.)
Blend 1-2 chipotle peppers and 1-2 tbs of it's adobo sauce (bought near other canned mexican food like green chilis etc) with 1/2 cup fat free sour cream. Chop and mix in, or blend with blender.
For the Tostada
Spray a medium- hot pan with cooking spray and spray your EXTRA thin mission tortillas with a quick mist and sprinkle with kosher salt. Cook till nice and crispy on each side…. Just took a few minutes. Let rest on a paper towel lined plate. ( I didn’t use mine for like an hour and they were great! So no rush here. You can even make them ahead!)
Now Top three tostadas with thin layer of refried beans (I did a tiny bit because I didn’t have tons of carbs- about 8 grams on each), 130 g carnitas, and 5 grams of cotija cheese.
Bake at 400 for a few minutes … just long enough to warm it all back up if it wasn’t already and liven up the cotija a little.
Pull them out and top all three combined with: 40 g lettuce, 60 g pico, 20 g mango, 30 g avocado, cilantro, 10 g homemade fat free chipotle sour cream, and 15 g cilantro lime ranch. (Or you can use Bolthouse cilantro avocado.)
*I love tostadas because I can have them built for my whole family and ready to go in the oven at the same time. I can have mine all weighed and measured so I just have to add on the cold toppings during the dinner chaos. A little smoother than tacos. (And sometimes I'll just do the store bought tostada shells for my kids because they don't know the difference!) *This can also be made in the instant pot! Push saute and sear the meat in the bottom of the instant pot bowl when it's hot, then turn it off and push manual. Add the salsa, garlic, and onion. Push the plus button to 45 minutes and let it start. Close the lid, seal the vent and let cook. If you want it crispy, use the same method as described above.To log: Search MFP for "Lillie Eats and Tells Tostadas with Carnitas"