Pastel de Choclo Recipe
I spent a half a year in Chile a few years ago, primarily to take Spanish classes and immerse myself in the culture.
I enjoyed a variety of food down there – lots of fish, salads, empanadas, pastas, rice dishes, custards, and delectable breakfast pastries with café con leche.
Unfortunately, I didn’t discover this dish – pastel de choclo – until the last month or so that I was there – what a shame! It’s so, so good.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy (and cheap) to make at home.
What Is Pastel De Choclo?
Pastel de choclo translates to something along the lines of “corn cake”, but don’t get distracted by the translation. It’s more like a corn casserole.
An interesting mix of flavors on the bottom – ground beef, raisins, black olives, onions and hard boiled eggs – topped by a sweet and crunchy corn crust. The bottom layer is rich and casserole-like, and the topping is addictively sweet.
I snapped a photo of this meal of pastel de choclo and avocado salad when I visited the small pottery town of Pomaire.
They made their casserole in a pottery dish. The crust was perfection – just look at it! Crunchy and sweet – it’s a meal I will never forget.
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper
- 1 hard-boiled egg
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup chopped black olives or kalamata olives
For Corn Topping
- 3 cups fresh or frozen sweet corn
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup whole milk or half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Salt and pepper
- Brown ground beef and chopped onion in a frying pan over medium heat. Season with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Chop hard-boiled egg into small pieces.
- To make corn topping: Combine corn and milk (or half-and-half) in a blender and liquefy. Transfer corn mixture into a large saucepan and add butter, sugar, and salt and pepper, then heat. Once corn mixture has just started to simmer, remove about 1/3 cup of the mixture and stir in cornstarch until dissolved. Add cornstarch mixture back to the saucepan and stir until mixture thickens. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized baking dish, layer ground beef, raisins, hard-boiled egg, and black olives. Pour corn mixture over the ground beef mixture. Bake at 400F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until corn topping is golden brown to your liking. If you prefer a brown and bubbly crust, place under the broiler for a minute or so.