About the author: Jennifer Olvera is a veteran food and travel writer and author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Chicago." Follow her on Twitter @olverajennifer.
Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!
- Yield:serves 6
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:2 1/2 hours
- For the Beef Layer:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 pound whole boneless beef chuck
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 12 ounces light-flavored beer (such as Corona, Dos Equis, or PBR)
- 16 ounces jarred or homemade tomatillo salsa
- 3 sprigs thyme
- For the Bean Layer:
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (4-ounce) can fire-roasted jalapenos or green chiles
- 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 1 tablespoon lime juice from 1 lime
- For the Cornmeal Crust:
- 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup frozen thawed or fresh corn kernels
- 1/4 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.
For the Beef Layer: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Season meat liberally with salt and pepper. When oil is shimmering, sear meat on both sides until nicely browned, about 7 minutes total. Remove the meat. Reduce heat to medium and add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add beer and bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Return meat to pan, add salsa and thyme and return to a boil. Cover and transfer to the oven to cook until a fork shows no resistance when inserted, 2 to 3 hours.
For the Beans: When meat nears the end of cooking time, place beans in a large bowl and gently mash, taking care to leave some texture. And canned chiles, bacon, sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice and stir to combine. Set aside.
For the Crust: Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, milk, eggs, melted butter, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk with a fork until just combined and lump-free. Fold in corn kernels, pepper jack cheese, and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Set aside.
To Assemble: When meat is finished cooking, remove from the oven. Discard thyme sprigs. Transfer pot roast to a platter and tear meat into small chunks or shreds, discarding any unappealing fatty bits. Return meat to pot and stir with juices to combine. The meat should be well-coated and saucy, not stew-like. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Spray cooking spray on inside of individual baking crocks or a 13- by 9-inch baking dish. If using crocks, spread an even portion of meat on the bottom of dishes. Top with equal portions of the bean mixture, followed by a layer of cheddar cheese from the remaining 1/2 cup you have on hand. Top with cornmeal mixture and spread evenly over the cheese using a spatula.
Place in oven and bake until browned and bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve with sour cream and additional limes, if desired.