Pastel De Choclo Recipe: Chilean Beef and Corn Casserole

Pastel de Choclo
Iferneinez/Flickr
Ratings (90)
  • Total: 85 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
609 Calories
33g Fat
32g Carbs
48g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6-8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 609
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 42%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 225mg 75%
Sodium 778mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 48g
Calcium 123mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pastel de choclo is a beef and corn casserole that is a very traditional and popular dish in Chile. Lots of different flavors, like beef and onions, raisins, olives, and roasted chicken, go into the body of the casserole, and the whole thing is topped off with a thick layer of creamed choclo corn. The corn "pudding" layer caramelizes in the oven, and the result is a delicious salty/sweet combination that's reminiscent of shepherd's pie.

Choclo is an Andean variety of corn with large starchy kernels that are slightly less sweet than most North American corn varieties, though any corn works well for this recipe.  You can often find frozen choclo in Latin American grocery stores.  

This dish is traditionally baked in a shallow, round clay pot. A cast iron skillet works well as a substitute (with the benefit of being able to cook the onions and beef in it first), but any casserole dish will do.

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 medium onions (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt (divided)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup whole milk (divided)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons basil (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped black olives
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs (chopped)
  • 1 cup roasted chicken (shredded)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Sauté the onions in the vegetable oil until soft and translucent - 5 minutes.

  3. Add the ground beef, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the beef is crumbled and browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

  4. Place the corn kernels in a food processor or blender with 1/4 cup milk. Process for 1 to 2 minutes, until the corn is blended and appears creamy.

  5. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a large saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt, sugar, and the blended corn mixture.

  6. Add the remaining 3/4 cup milk and simmer, constantly stirring, until the mixture thickens about 5 to 10 minutes.

  7. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped fresh basil.

  8. Preheat oven to 375 F.

  9. Drain the liquid from the browned beef mixture.

  10. Place the ground beef mixture in the bottom of a 3- to 4-quart casserole dish.

  11. Sprinkle the raisins, olives, and hardboiled eggs over the beef, then layer the chicken on top.

  12. Spread the corn mixture over the top of the casserole so that it covers the rest of the ingredients. Sprinkle the powdered sugar on top.

  13. Bake the casserole in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until the filling is bubbling hot and the corn mixture is golden brown.

  14. Serve warm.