Sonoran Pot Pie

If you’ve been reading for a while, then you know that Kramer and I moved to New York from Phoenix, Arizona almost exactly two years ago. It’s been quite a journey, navigating the city, finding apartments, and learning to walk, talk, and just generally move much faster than most humans. We’ve also been able to eat at a number of fantastic restaurants, and my culinary world has definitely been blown wide open thanks to New York City. In Phoenix, we mostly subsisted on Mexican food, pizza, boring sandwiches, and whatever I could come up with at home. Now, though, we are lucky enough to have food from every part of the world at our fingertips, and we certainly take advantage of that. Sushi, delivered to our doorstep in under 20 minutes? You got it! A Middle Eastern restaurant with pretty fantastic falafel just across the street? Yes, please. How about steamed pork buns, soup dumplings, almost any kind of curry you can imagine, or a restaurant within walking distance that specializes in gourmet grilled cheeses and bourbon? I’m there. It’s all within our reach, and it’s pretty incredible. Sometimes, though, we miss our beloved Sonoran style Mexican food. There are plenty of awesome and extremely authentic Mexican restaurants in the city, don’t get me wrong – there’s La Superior, La Esquina, Toloache, and even some food trucks that serve up delicious tacos, burritos, and other street food, like Endless Summer or the fusion barbecue-Mexican truck, Mexicue. Perhaps that is where I drew inspiration for this pot pie – all of the different ways to make your usual American comfort food into something exciting and new.

Carne adobada is simply pork marinated in a mixture of garlic, oregano, cumin, and chiles, then roasted until fall apart tender and absolutely delicious. I make carne adobada pretty often, as it’s really easy and extremely foolproof; it always results in tender, melt in your mouth roasted pork. There are a million ways to make it, but you’ll almost always find it inside of a street taco, a burrito, or even a quesadilla. This time, I wanted to put it inside of something unexpected – why not a pie? Along with the pork, I stuffed this pot pie with my homemade Mexican rice and some kidney beans. I used my favorite flaky pie crust, and before you knew it, I had something very special on my hands. To be honest, I was a little dubious going into this, but I had the idea in my head and I ran with it. As it turns out, this pot pie is incredible. The crust is buttery and golden brown, and the filling is bursting with flavor. Kramer went back for seconds and exclaimed that he never thought that a Sonoran Pot Pie would ever be this good. We’ve been enjoying the leftovers of this all week, either alone, on a bed of lettuce, or even with a fried egg on top. This is a great dish to make on a lazy Sunday to be eaten up throughout the week, changing it up as you go. So enjoy, and here’s to the food of our past, present, and future!

Sonoran Pot Pie
First, get your pork marinating.

Sonoran Pot Pie Sonoran Pot Pie
Sonoran Pot Pie Sonoran Pot Pie

First, you will want to cut the tops off your chiles, shake the seeds out, and bake them until the skins are slightly blackened. Place the chiles in a bowl, fill with hot water, and allow to soak for 30 minutes.

Sonoran Pot Pie
Combine your garlic and spices in your food processor.

Sonoran Pot Pie
Then add in your chiles and the reserved water.

Sonoran Pot Pie
Pulse until smooth.

Sonoran Pot Pie Sonoran Pot Pie
Sonoran Pot Pie Sonoran Pot Pie

Marinate your pork for at least 8 hours, but preferably 24 hours, then cover and bake at 325 degrees F for 3 hours or so, until fall-apart tender.

Sonoran Pot Pie
You should be able to easily shred the pork with two forks. Reserve the juices from the pork to use later, and set aside.

Sonoran Pot Pie
Now, it’s time to make your pie crust.

Sonoran Pot Pie Sonoran Pot Pie
Sonoran Pot Pie Sonoran Pot Pie

Pulse together your dry ingredients, then add in the butter and shortening and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Gradually add in your water and vinegar mixture until the dough comes together.

Sonoran Pot Pie
Divide your dough into two balls, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Sonoran Pot Pie
When your dough is ready, roll it out on a lightly floured surface.

Sonoran Pot Pie
Place the dough into your pie dish.

Sonoran Pot Pie
Then cut off or crimp the edges. Wrap this in plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour prior to baking. Save your other ball of dough to roll out for the top.

Sonoran Pot Pie
Combine your shredded pork, Mexican rice, and rinsed and drained beans.

Sonoran Pot Pie
Then toss to combine. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of reserved juices from the roasted pork and toss again.

Sonoran Pot Pie

Sonoran Pot Pie Sonoran Pot Pie

Roll out your other ball of dough and fit it onto the top of your pie. Cut out an X in the top so that steam can escape as the pie bakes.

Sonoran Pot Pie
Brush the crust with a lightly beaten egg – you can also use scraps from the crust of your pie to make some fun decorations.

Sonoran Pot Pie
Then create a tent around the outside of your pie with foil to prevent it from browning too quickly. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until the crust is golden.

Sonoran Pot Pie
Allow the pie to sit for 10 minutes or so before cutting into it.

Sonoran Pot Pie
Slice and serve!

Sonoran Pot Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
For the Pie Crust:
  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅔ cup COLD unsalted butter, cubed
  • ⅔ cup COLD vegetable shortening (you can use butter in its place, if you like, but I think that using shortening helps the crust stay firm, as it has a higher melting temperature than butter does)
  • ⅔ cup ice water
  • 3½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar
For the Carne Adobada:
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 5x5-inch pieces
  • 15 dried Guajillo or Costeño chiles, tops cut off and seeds removed
  • 6-8 cups hot water (for soaking the chiles in – reserve 1 ½ cups of this water for the marinade)
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2½ teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, but highly recommended)
To Assemble:
  • 2 balls of pie dough (recipe above)
  • 2 pounds shredded carne adobada (recipe above), plus extra juices as needed
  • 1 ½ cups Mexican rice (recipe here)
  • 1 can kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (for brushing the pie crust)
  • Crème fraiche or sour cream, for serving
  • Fresh cilantro, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl or in a food processor. Add in the cubed, cold and cold shortening. Blend together with your hands, a pastry cutter, or food processor until you have coarse crumbs (it doesn’t have to be perfect). I used to just use my hands to do this before I got a food processor, so don't be afraid to get in there!
  2. Mix together the water and vinegar in a small bowl. When ready, slowly drizzle it over the dough, a tablespoon or so at a time, gently stirring the mixture with a fork (or pulsing with your processor), until fully incorporated. It might seem a bit too wet at this point, but it will dry up while it sits in the fridge. Form the dough gently into 2 loose balls, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours, or as long as overnight. After at least 3 hours, take one ball of dough and roll out it onto a lightly floured surface, until it is about 2-inches in diameter bigger than your pie dish. Place the rolled out dough into your pie dish and smooth it out so that it lays evenly. Crimp the edges however you like, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for at least an hour prior to baking your pie - this step really helps the pie to firm up later, as well as dry out a little bit more, as the filling is a bit wet and you don't want your pie crust to be soggy!
  3. First, you need to rehydrate your chiles. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. Cut the stems off of your chiles, and shake out as many seeds as possible. Bake for 5-8 minutes, until the chiles are just beginning to blacken. Pick them up and shake out any remaining seeds (you don’t have to get them all, so don’t worry), then place them in a large bowl and cover with hot water (I just used the hottest water from my tap) and cover with a paper towel. Let the chiles sit for 30 minutes or so, stirring halfway through to be sure that they are all immersed in the water as much as possible.
  4. When the chiles are ready, remove them with tongs and place them in a food processor or a blender, along with about 1½ cups of water that the chiles were soaking in, the peeled garlic, the oregano, cumin, salt, and red pepper flake, Pulse until you have a very smooth puree and set aside.
  5. Remove any large bits of fat, skin, or bone from your pork (a little fat is fine, it’s even encouraged, but you don’t want big hunks of it messing up your delicious pork) and cut into pieces about the size of your hand. Place the pork in a sealable bag and pour in the chile marinade. Seal and shake to make sure that your pork is completely coated. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours, but 24 hours is preferred (I let mine sit for a full 24 hours).
  6. When the pork is ready, preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Place your pork and the rest of the marinade in a baking dish (I used a greased glass 9×13 baking dish) and cover tightly with foil (or a lid, if you’re lucky enough to have an oven-safe one). Roast for 3 hours or so, until tender. You shouldn’t even need to shred this pork with two forks, you should just be able to pull it apart effortlessly with one fork (this is the test). When ready, move the pork to a cutting board and leave the juices in the pan. Shred the pork, and then chop it a bit, if you like. Reserve the juices for when you are assembling your pie. Set aside until you are ready to use.
  7. Before your bake your pie, roll out 1 ball of dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 2-inches in diameter larger than your pie dish. Gently place the rolled out dough into your pie dish, and crimp or cut off any extra dough that hangs off of the side. Keep these scraps, roll them into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and save to use as you finish your pie (I used mine as decoration). Wrap your pie dish with the pie crust inside tightly with plastic wrap, and freeze for at least 1 hour.
  8. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine your carne adobada, rice, beans, and about ¼ to ½ cup of juices from the pork and toss to combine. Place all of this into your pie crust, then roll out your remaining ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and place it over the top of your pie. Crimp the edges together with the bottom crust, and then cut an “X” in the middle of the pie so that the steam can escape from inside as it baked. Brush the crust lightly with your beaten egg. Using tinfoil, create a barrier around the edge of your pie, so that the crust does not cook too quickly, and place in the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes.
  9. After 30 minutes, remove the foil barrier and place the pie back in the oven for another 25-30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven, let rest for 10 minutes or so, then slice and serve alongside crème fraiche, sour cream, cilantro, and/or lime wedges.


29 Responses

  1. […] On Modern Destiny. Sonoran Pot Pie The Crepes of Wrath Wed, January 11, 2012 1:55 PM UTC The Crepes of Wrath Rate this story Loading … Share (function(){var […]

  2. Anthony says:

    New England pot pie meets the American Southwest! :)

    I’m terrible at baking, so I doubt I’ll ever make the pie part, but that carne adobada looks wonderful. It’d go great in some burritos during the playoff games this weekend. Hmmm…

  3. Deanna B says:

    I’ve been having a pot pie craving, and I am so glad that I didn’t give into it while I was at Trader Joe’s this morning. Now I can have pot pie for dinner.

  4. Memoria says:

    I am so jealous of how perfect your pie crust looks! Wow. All your process photos look so good. If I weren’t on a strict diet, I would be all over this dish. My girlfriend’s (born in Mexico City) mother makes adobo with vinegar in it. My gf wouldn’t eat that without any vinegar. I must try out this recipe and add vinagre. YUM! Gracias por la receta.

  5. Kimberly says:

    This looks beautiful AND delicious.

  6. Stacy says:

    I am so glad we haven’t made our roasted pork shoulder yet! We had chicken pot pie earlier this week (we must be on the same wavelength!), so I think we’ll have this with some tortillas and your Mexican rice. Thanks again for sharing such delicious recipes!

  7. jen says:

    This recipe looks delicious! But I don’t know a lot about chiles–how hot are the ones in this recipe? Where on the spicy-chart would you say this falls?

  8. Jen says:

    Sydney, I can’t tell you how yummy and gorgeous this looks! Adobada is one of my favorite things in the world, I love it even more than carne asada, which is my other favorite. Being from San Diego, we have carne asada fries and adobada fries – where the adobada or carne asada is served over fries and topped with sour cream, guacamole, and cheese, It’s delicious! This looks just as great. I’ll definitely try it soon!

  9. Tracy A. says:

    I usually make it to NYC a couple times a year and can’t get enough of the smells and tastes of all the ethnic foods – there is no place else like it on earth. I’m eager to give your pot a pie a try when we have returned from our trip south – I know that a cooler Central New York winter will await us – and this looks like the perfect dish for it!

    • Sydney says:

      Kramer and I look at the weather every day and while it might be chilly, I think we may make it this year with little to no snow at all, so hooray for that!

  10. You can’t beat the food variety, and quality, of NYC! I can’t make a trip to the city without planning at least one food excursion.
    We love Mexican food, but have never been to AZ or any of the border States. This pot pie looks delicious. And I need to go check out that Mexican rice you posted, bet that ones a keeper too. Thanks, making me hungry and I already ate

  11. beti says:

    the combination of the mexican rice and beans sound great on a pie, the crust looks perfect!

  12. zenchef says:

    Great blog you have! I just got ‘lost’ in it for 30 min and I’m very hungry now. :)

  13. Rhonda says:

    I know its not NYC but Phoenix isnt THAT bad 😉

    • Sydney says:

      I think it’s changed a lot in the two years that I’ve been gone, from what I can tell – I’m excited to maybe visit later this year or next year and see how it’s been growing!

  14. Jeff says:

    This looks amazing! What a great combination of ingredients, and who doesn’t love things in pies? It looks like the perfect dish to warm you on a winter day, but to help remind you of summer. Bravo!

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