Chewin’ on Chilean Pastel de Choclo


Pastel de Choclo, or “corn pie” in spanish, is a mix of spanish empanadas and andean humitas.  It is a prime example of mestizo cooking, also known as cocina criolla Chilean (chilean creole cuisine). This dish emerged in the late 19th century, shortly after Chile gained its independence from Spain. It balances the native influences of corn with the european influences of the meat filling, also known as pino.

pastel de choclo

This recipe has some special recommendations. First off, you will need 12 individual baking containers for this dish–traditional clay dish is preferred (shown below), but if unavailable, use single serving ramekins.  Also, fresh corn from America is completely different than the corn in Chile. The corn chileans use is short, fat, and yellow corn that is very creamy. A solution to this problem is to grate the corn to achieve the desired texture or to mix fresh corn with a can of creamed corn; however stay away from canned vegetables if possible! The taste of fresh corn dramatically enhances the dish.

clay dish

serving size: 12

cook time: 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients for the Pastel: 

  • 12 Large corn on the cob

  • 4 broiled chicken breasts (no skin, cut into 12 pieces)

  • 1 liter of whole milk

  • 4 large basil leaves

  • 4 hardboiled eggs cut into slices

  • 2 Tbs of salted butter

  • 1 Tbs of vegatable Oil

  • 1 ½ tsp of salt

  • 3 Tbs of Sugar

Ingredients for the Pino (meat filling):

  • 4 lbs ground beef

  • 4 large onions minced

  • 24 black olives

  • 3 cloves garlic minced

  • 1 1/2 cups of raisins

  • 3 tbs oil

  • 1 tsp. black pepper

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 tsp. cumin

  • 1 tsp. chili powder

  • 1 tsp. oregano

  • 1 tsp. paprika

watch this video to get an idea of the cooking process!

Instructions for the pastel

  • Husk the corn, cut the corn off the cob, and blend

  • Mix the butter and the vegetable oil in a pot over medium heat

  • Pour  the blended corn paste into the pot, constantly stirring

  • As it thickens, slowly pour in the milk,  salt, sugar, and the finely chopped basil

  • cook until thickened, remove from heat and put aside  to use as the top layer of the pastel

Instructions for the Pino: 

  • Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat and add the onions. Fry until onions become translucent

  • Add the spices and salt, and cook for a couple of more minutes

  • Add the Raisins and cook for two minutes

  • Add the meat and fry until the ground beef is browned

Assembling the Pastel de Choclo:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F

  • Oil your individual clay bakers

  • Fill half way with pino

  • Add two slices of egg, a piece of chicken, and a few olives

  • Top with the corn filling to just below the top

  • Sprinkle the top with granulated sugar

  • Put into preheated oven and bake until the top becomes golden brown and hard (about 25 minutes)

  • make sure to let them sit for 10 minutes before serving so as to let them cool off



final pastel_de_choclo_2

set the mood for your chilean feast and listen to chilean pop singer Prince Royce, Darte un Beso, while cooking tonight!



One response »

  1. Pingback: Café con piernas (with legs) and Pastel de Choclo (Corn Pie) | #Gringoproblems in Santiago, Chile

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