Beef Bourguignon is the perfect dish for a cold day. This hearty and warming stew…
Pastel De Choclo is a traditional Chilean beef and corn pie. It is similar to a shepherd’s pie with a layer of creamed corn on top.
Are you tired of making the same dishes with minced beef all the time? Why not give Pastel De Choclo a try? It is a traditional Chilean dish which translates to corn pie. It is more like a shepherd’s pie with a layer of creamed corn on top which is baked in the oven. The dish also includes raisins, boiled eggs, olives and chicken, making it a real fusion between the native Indian and European influences in Chilean cooking.
Pastel de Choclo is perfect comfort food, the warming layer of meat with the caramelised sweetness of the corn on the top making it ideal for a cold day. The subtle blend of sweet and spicy flavours is characteristic of South American cooking.
History of Pastel de Choclo
Pastel de Choclo is a fusion between the cooking of the native South American Indians and the Spanish conquerors who took them on as cooks. Corn plays a big part in South American dishes. Not surprisingly one of the most important Inca gods was the corn god. The corn god was so important that the chief of each Inca tribe, believed to be a descendant of the gods, had to plant the first corn seeds every year.
The recipe takes the traditional South American corn dough, humitas, and combines it with the European use of minced beef in cooking. The mince mixture is known as Pino and is also found in empanadas. The mixture will vary from household to household but normally contains minced beef and onions, spices, hard-boiled, eggs, olives and raisins. The result is a delicious dish.
What is choclo corn?
Choclo corn, also known as Andean or Peruvian corn, is a variety of corn with large starchy kernels. It is less sweet than sweetcorn and more chewy. The starch makes the corn hold together like a dough.
You can get choclo corn at speciality suppliers but any type of corn will work in this recipe. To make sweetcorn more starchy add some milk.
The word choclo is Mapuche for corn. The Mapuche are a seminomadic tribe from the middle of Chile.
How to make Pastel De Choclo
This gives an overview of the steps to make Pastel de Choclo, for a complete printable recipe scroll down.
First, gather the ingredients. You need:
- Meat – minced beef and shredded chicken
- Boiled Eggs – peeled and chopped into small pieces
- Onions – peeled and chopped.
- Herbs and spices – cumin for the meat and basil for the sweetcorn topping
- Raisins and black olives.
- Salt and pepper – for seasoning.
- Sweetcorn – you can use fresh, tinned or frozen.
- Milk and butter – to make the sweetcorn topping.
- Sugar – to caramelise the topping.
Steps to make it.
Step one: Preheat the oven to 180 C, Gas Mark 4
Step two: Put the onions and garlic in a pan and fry until soft.
Step three: Add the mince and cook until brown. Stir in the cumin, pepper and salt.
Step four: Put the mince in a casserole dish.
Step five: Add the hard boiled eggs, raisins, olives and shredded chicken on top of the mince.
Step six: Blend the sweetcorn in a food processor with some milk
Step seven: Melt the butter in the pan, add the milk and sweetcorn. Bring to a simmer and keep stirring until it thickens.
Step eight: Stir in the basil into the corn mixture.
Step nine: Put the sweetcorn mixture on top of the mince and sprinkle with sugar.
Step nine: Bake for thirty five to forty minutes in the oven.
Pastel De Choclo Recipe
Pastel de Choclo
To make the pino – minced beef layer
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 500 g beef mince
- 3 onions
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 3 eggs
- 100 g olives
- 140 g shredded chicken
For the topping
- 500 g sweetcorn
- 250 ml whole milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp basil chopped
Make the minced beef base
- Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4.
- Place the raisins in a bowl, cover with hot water and leave to stand for five minutes. Drain the water off.
- Boil the eggs
- Peel the eggs and chop into small pieces
- Put some olive oil into a pan and heat. Add the onions and garlic and fry till soft.
- Add the mince and cook until its brown
- Add the beef and cumin into the meat mixture.
- Stir well and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Place in a casserole dish and layer the chopped hard boiled eggs on top.
- Add the olives, raisins and chicken in another layer on top of the mince
Make the topping
- Blend the sweetcorn in a food processor with 60 ml of the milk until puréed.
- Melt the butter in a pan.
- Add the sweetcorn mixture, the rest of the milk and the salt.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly for about 5 to 10 minutes until it thickens.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped basil.
- Spread the sweetcorn mixture over the top of the mince until its covered.
- Sprinkle the top with sugar
- Place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
- Serve warm
What should I cook the recipe in?
Traditionally you would serve the dish in individual portions in round, shallow terracotta dishes. You can use any ovenproof casserole dish.
What should I serve with it?
This is a very filling dish so you only need light side dishes. A tomato salad in a vinaigrette sauce would work well or a side serving of salsa. In Chile you would find pebre on the side, a Chilean condiment prepared with cilantro, chopped onion, olive oil, garlic and spicy aji pepper paste.
Can I freeze the dish?
Yes, Pastel de Choclo makes a fantastic freezer dish. Follow the preparation steps until just before it should go into the oven. At this point carefully cover the dish and freeze. Make sure the dish is freezer proof!
When you want to cook it you can just defrost it and then put it in the oven as normal.