Chilean Corn Pie (Pastel de Choclo)

And indeed!
Is there anything tastier than an humita in a corn husk?
How about a porridge with milk brought from five leagues away, in the milkman’s jug?
And tell me, truly, is there anything more delicious than a pastel de choclo?
– Florencio Escardó, Argentinian Poet

Pastel de Choclo (corn pie) is a Chilean dish based on sweet corn choclo. It is very similar to the Mexican pastel de elote and to the English corn pudding. The dish is prepared with sweet corn ground into a paste. It is then seasoned with ground basil that is blended into the corn. The mixture is pre-cooked with milk. The filling, known as “pino”, contains minced beef cooked with onions, paprika, and other spices. Pino is also used as a filling for traditional Chilean empanadas. What makes this wonderful dish undeniably South American, especially loved in Chile and Argentina, is the addition of hard boiled eggs, olives and raisins.

Pastel de Choclo – Meat and Corn Pie

Beef cooked with onions is topped by a gooey, sweet corn-and-cornmeal mixture. Black olives, raisins, and sliced hard-boiled eggs are thrown into the mix for a nice surprise, and everything is baked together. The sweet corn steals the show, though, and complements the salty beef perfectly with a deep, sweet flavor.
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Course: Brunch, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Chile, South American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 10
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • Food Processor or blender
  • 13×19-inch baking dish

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 2 large Onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Soy sauce
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • ½ tsp Dried oregano
  • ¼ cup Raisins, soaked in warm water
  • 2 large Eggs, hard boiled and thinly sliced
  • 3 oz Black olives, pitted and sliced
  • 40 oz Sweet corn kernels, canned or frozen-thawed
  • 14.75 oz Can of creamed corn
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Dried basil
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp Black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Corn meal (optional)
  • ¼ cup Sugar

Instructions

  • Make Filling – Sauté the ground beef and onions in 2 tsp oil over medium-high heat. When meat is browned, add soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, paprika, cumin, and oregano. Continue to cook until meat is cooked through and broth is mostly gone. Turn heat way down and cook until onions are soft. Season as necessary and remove from heat.
  • Make Corn Topping – Put corn kernels, creamed corn and basil in a food processor or blender. Pulse until the corn is pureed but not completely smooth. Pour into a large saucepan, add butter, salt, and cornmeal, if using. Cook over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Keep boiling for 5 more minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Remove from heat.
  • Assemble – Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and lightly grease a 13×19-inch baking dish. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with thin layer of pureed corn. Spread all the beef mixture over that. Drain raisins and then sprinkle raisins, olives, and chopped eggs over the meat. Cover everything with the remaining corn puree and smooth it. Lightly sprinkle sugar on top.
  • Cook and Serve – Put the baking dish in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Set same oven to broil and cook until the top becomes golden brown. Remove from oven. Rest for 10 minutes then serve with a nice salad or Ensalada Tomate.

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