Pastel de Choclo or Corn and Beef Pie is an iconic dish in Chile. A traditional Chilean recipe.
Corn pie is a classic during the summertime in Chile. In my family, on January 1st we make corn pie if living in the country the pie es usually cooks on a clay dish inside a wood-burning oven if residing in the city a standard oven and a baking pan is enough.
Finally, we ate a perfect corn pie made with frozen corn, I had already tried a couple of times but had never been happy with the taste or texture. In the end, I think cornstarch is what works best to thicken the corn and give it a similar feel to the Chilean dish.
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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 if find
• salt, pepper and Merkén or paprika
For the meat,
• 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
• 1 kilo/2 pounds ground beef
• 1 cup water or beef broth
• 3 onions, diced small
• Merkén or 1 tablespoon chili powder or paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• salt, pepper
• 2 tablespoons flour
Optional: cooked chicken and raisins
For the meat, always do it the day before,
- Heat the oil in a large pot, saute the meat 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 cooked meat, add grilled chicken if you like it too on top of the meat, and raisins.
- 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.