Sonoran Pot Roast Pie with Cheesy Cornbread Crust Recipe

Sunday Supper

Cooking projects for people who'd like nothing more than to spend a sunday afternoon surrounded by the wonderful aromas of the kitchen.

Sonoran Pot Roast Pie with Cheesy Cornbread Crust Recipe

[Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

  • 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


  1. 1.

    Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.

  2. 2.

    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.

  3. 3.

    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.

  4. 4.

    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.

  5. 5.

    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.

  6. 6.

    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.

  7. 7.

    Place in oven and bake until browned and bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve with sour cream and additional limes, if desired.