Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pastel de choclo

I'm Chilean, and proud of it. I don't like our society, but I love the country. It's really a beautiful pleace, with desert, forests, seas, mountains, and a huge variety of plants and animals. Rainy south, sunny north, a mix in this central valley our capital is. Sometimes it even snows, if winter is too cold. Our varied culture, product of immigrants comming from different parts of the world. In the south you can find tipical baked goods from Germany, in the center you can find a huge Hipanic influence, and here and there you may remember England, France or Italy. There have always been fights about the origin of our tipical dishes, and the one I'm presenting you now is no exception. All dishes that are tipical in my country have a version in other Latin American countries, and they also are tipical there. In Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, etc... they have their own versions of the dishes, and people is always fighting about where they were invented. Truth is that most of them are Hispanic, and people in our countries took them and added some ingredients from their lands.

Pastel de choclo is kind of a meat pie, but it doesn't have a pie crust, it has a layer of "mazamorra" that is mashed corn, sugar and salt (and basil, at least in my country) that then is cooked until it reaches different consistencies depending on what are you using it for. In my country it is used to make "porotos con mazamorra" (beans with mazamorra), "humitas" (they are similar to mexican tamales), and "pastel de choclo". In other countries it's ate as a dessert. I've always liked this dish, though it isn't popular with kids. I was cooking lunch because my mom had a doctor apointment, and since my little brother and sister don't like this dish I had to do some crazy multitasking as I was cooking mashed potatoes, sausages and the mazamorra at the same time. You'll see why it was crazy when you read the recipe.


Filling (called "pino"):

3 small onions, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
black pepper, cumin and dried red pepper  taste (I used a mix that is sold at supermarkets, ment to be used at making stews. If you can find that, I used 2 tsp)
500 gr grounded meat (I used 2 cups of hydrated textured soy protein. If you are using it, add 1 to 2 cups of water, since the juices from meat are missing, and the filling is meant to have some liquid)
32 Olives
4 hard boiled eggs
3 tbsp oil


2 kg corn, processed to get a paste.
6 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp chopped fresh basil
Extra sugar for sprinkle on top

For this, I used a paste that is sold ready to use in supermarkets.



1. Heat the oil in a deep pan. Add onions and cook until they get soft.
2. Add balck pepper, cumin, red pepper and garlic.
3. Add grounded meat and keep on the heat until it's cooked (it will take less time if it's textured soy protein, and don't forget to add the water).


 1. Mix everything in a deep pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes.


These are usually served in the clay pots you can see in the pictures, but you can make them in a square or rectangular pan, cut portions and serve it in dishes.

1. Preheat the oven at max. temperature.
2. Put about 3/4 of the filling in the pots.
3. Put half a hard boiled egg, sliced, and 4 olives in each pot (or as much as you want).
4. Cover the filling with mazamorra.
5. Sprinkle each pastel with about 2 tbsp of sugar.
6. Put into the oven until they are golden brown on top.

Here they are in the oven. For some reason this mix my mom bought didn't got golden. This recipe will give you about 8 servings.

I love eating it with tomatoes! It's really good with a salad made with tomatoes, onions and coriander, known here as "Ensalada a la chilena" (Chilean salad).

I hope you try and enjoy this! I want to show you more recipes from my country in the future.


  1. What a unique recipe! I do enjoy reading about food from other countries. Thanks for posting it!

  2. Eris, this is a lovely recipe. I always enjoy a visit to your blog. I love the food and recipes you share with your readers. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  3. The Alchemist: I find it hard to describe recipes that surely my readers have never tried! because every amily has their own way of preparing this dishes, and is hard to know if you got it right when you try the dish reading a recipe from the internet. Anyway I do my best!

    Mary: Thank you!! I thought no one would read my blog, so I'm excited knowing that people actually do, and ejoy it.