Chilean Pastel de Choclo is an iconic dish. A classic during the summertime. If living in the countryside, the Pastel de Choclo is usually cooked on a clay dish inside a wood-burning oven, if residing in the city a standard oven and a baking pan is enough. The flavors of the meat and corn mingle delightfully in this casserole.
Chilean corn is different from the varieties available in the USA. You will need to thicken the mash with cornstarch.
Proper sides for Chilean Pastel de Choclo are:Print
The Chilean version of Sheperd’s pie with a twist: corn pudding on top.
For the corn mixture,
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 4 bags of frozen corn or 10 cups or so (I buy sweet corn HEB)
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold milk or water
• 1 bunch basil, about 10 leaves, Sweet basil preferably
• salt, pepper and Merkén or paprika
For the meat,
• 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
• 2 pounds ground beef
• 1 cup water or beef broth
• 3 onions, diced small
• Merkén or 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• salt, pepper
• 2 tablespoons flour
Optional: cooked chicken, hard-boiled eggs, olives, and raisins
For the meat, always do it the day before,
- Heat the oil in a large pot, saute the beef until lightly browned, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, add the paprika, salt, pepper, and cumin, sauté 2 minutes more.
- Add the broth and simmer 30 minutes over low heat.
- Add the onion and mix well and cook over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn off heat and add the flour and stir well, adjust seasoning if necessary. Cool and refrigerate.
For the corn mixture,
- In a large pot with a thick bottom, I use my cast iron, melt the butter over medium-high heat, add the frozen corn and occasionally stir about 8 minutes.
- Add milk, basil, salt, pepper, and Merquén or paprika and continue to cook occasionally stirring for about 10 minutes longer.
- With a hand blender, blend the corn trying to not to go uniform, leave some chunky parts, when happy with the consistency, add the dissolved cornstarch and continue cooking over medium heat 5 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning, it will thicken slightly.
To assemble the pie,
- On a clay or baking dish, put one layer of the prepared meat filling. Add cooked chicken, quartered hard-boiled eggs, olives and raisins on top of the meat.
- Cover with the corn mixture, sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake at 400F or 200C in a preheated oven for 45-60 minutes until bubbling and golden on top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.