Chilean Shepherd’s Corn Pie – Pastel De Choclo

Horizontal overhead view of skillet corn pie from Chile

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Loving South American flavors? Then you must add this exquisite Chilean-style skillet shepherd’s corn pie to your menu!

 

This corn pie packed with tasty ingredients, including a delicious blend of ground beef onion, and hard-boiled eggs, has a sweet and delicious top layer of corn mixture.

 

Pin this recipe for later, I promise you will make it over and over again just as we do! 

 

Corn is a staple diet in all South American countries, and this corn casserole is among popular dishes. It’s the perfect comfort dinner dish for early fall and beyond.

 

HERE’S WHY YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE THIS CORN PIE:

 

  • It’s easy to make
  • It uses simple ingredients
  • The flavors of ingredients complement each other perfectly
  • It’s a one-skillet meal (less dirty dishes)
  • This shepherd’s pie is a perfect dose of comfort food
  • Year-round delicious family meal

 

WHAT KIND OF DISH IS PASTEL DE CHOCLO?

 

Pastel de Choclo, meaning corn pie or corn cake, is a traditional dish from Chile. A sort of shepherd’s pie, this layered casserole with a base of Pino is a delicious seasonal dish whose local version originated in the fields of Chile over 200 years ago.

 

Fundamental in Chilean cuisine, the best version is made with the first summer choclo, although you can prepare it in any season with frozen corn.

 

WHAT IS CHOCLO?

 

Choclo is the native Chilean corn. It is less sweet with lots of starch in the corn kernels that are also bigger and whiter than North American common cob.

 

Chilean #beef pie topped with #corn mixture in the style of shepherd's #pie is bursting with South American flavors. #Shepherdspie #glutenfreeClick to Tweet

 

Corn pie skillet dish on a gray background with tan kitchen towel.

 

WHAT IS PINO AND ARE THERE VARIATIONS?

 

Pino is a filling made of meat and eggs and is very similar to the filling for empanadas.

 

In addition to ground beef, hard-boiled eggs, and spices, you would typically find these ingredients in Pino as well:

 

  • Raisins
  • Olives
  • Roasted Chicken

 

WHAT ELSE IS IN THIS CORN PIE FROM CHILE?

 

I omitted the above ingredients simply because my husband dislikes raisins and olives, and I didn’t have roasted chicken. You will need:

 

  • Protein – Ground beef, eggs, and roasted chicken (optional)
  • Aromatics – Onions and garlic
  • Spices – Chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and black pepper
  • Seasoning – Salt
  • Dairy – Heavy cream or half and half
  • Herbs – Basil
  • Vegetables – Corn
  • Grains – Cornstarch and polenta
  • Liquid – Beef broth or water
  • Fat – Butter

 

Ingredient list for Pastel de Choclo

 

Prepare this simple recipe and surprise your guests with a delicious dish.

 

HOW TO MAKE CHILEAN SHEPHERD’S CORN  PIE?

 

*Details and the printable recipe is available at the bottom of this post.

 

  1. First – Boil the eggs. Peel and set aside. [*see recipe notes]
  2. Second – Brown and season the meat. Cook the beef until no longer pink. Add onions, garlic, broth, and spices. Cook 15 minutes longer and thicken with cornstarch. [*see the difference between the corn flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, and polenta below]
  3. Meanwhile – Cook the corn mixture. In a saucepan, sauté corn in butter. Add cream and basil. Season the mix with chili, salt, and pepper. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, process the corn. Add cornmeal and cook until thickened.
  4. Lastly – Assemble and bake. Place the eggs over the meat, cover with the corn mixture and bake until bubbly and brown on top.

 

Step by step instruction to making Chilean corn pie

 

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CORN FLOUR, CORNSTARCH, CORNMEAL, AND POLENTA?

 

Although all ingredients come from corn, their manufacturing process is different.

 

Corn Flour (not to be confused with “cornflour”) is finely ground corn. It contains gluten, a protein that provides elasticity and consistency to the dough. Corn flour is used for making cornbread, muffins, pancakes, for breading, and in combination with other flours in baked goods.

 

Cornstarch [“cornflour” in some countries, including the UK, Canada, and Australia] is obtained from the endosperm of the kernel and allowed to ferment slightly. The starches inside the endosperm are removed, rinsed, dried, and milled into a fine white powder. It is an excellent, gluten-free thickener for sauces and stews.

 

Cornmeal is ground dried maize (corn) to fine, medium, and coarse consistencies, but not as fine as corn flour.

 

Polenta is a dish made of boiled cornmeal. You can also find cornmeal labeled “polenta.” When cooked, it yields a slightly sweeter, creamier porridge.

 

To confuse you even more, there’s also masa harina which is cornmeal made from corn kernels that have been cooked in limewater. It is a primary ingredient for making corn tortillas and tamales.

 

Close up shot showing the texture of the corn pie with ground beef and eggs.

 

RECIPE NOTES AND TIPS:

 

  • For hard-boiled eggs, cover the eggs with cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook the eggs for 8-10 minutes. Drain and run cold water over the eggs for a minute or so for eggs to cool down (helps with easy peeling).
  • Instead of egg halves, you can chop them and then layer over the meat.
  • If your top is not getting brown, turn on your broiler for a minute or two.
  • You can prepare the meat mixture and corn topping a day ahead and keep refrigerated until ready to bake. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and add 10 more minutes to the baking time. Omit the broiling.
  • Traditionally, this corn pie is baked in pailas, clay bowls. You can use individual ramekins or make it in a casserole dish. I prefer my cast-iron skillet. 🙂 

 

 

WHAT TO SERVE WITH SHEPHERD’S CORN PIE?

 

Any quick salad would be a perfect accompaniment to this exquisite pie. Try tomatoes, onions, and cilantro dressed with olive oil and seasoned with salt or a fresh greens salad

 

A side of Pebre chili salsa or salsa of your choice complements the sweetness of corn topping perfectly.

 

Overhead shot of cast-iron skillet with half of corn pie, a plate and salsa.

 

USE UP CORN FLOUR OR CORNMEAL IN THESE RECIPES:

 

PARAGUAYAN CHEESE AND ONION CORNBREAD 

TRADITIONAL BOSNIAN POLENTA

ITALIAN APPLE AND FIG POLENTA TORTA

SLAVONIAN POLENTA CASSEROLE

 

 

If you like one-skillet meals, you will love these 101 DELICIOUS SKILLET RECIPES!

 

 

This post might contain some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here for obligatory boring legal stuff.

 

ESSENTIALS

for Shepherd’s Corn Pie


 

 

Chilean half-eaten corn shepherd's pie with a serving spoon.

 

MAKING THIS RECIPE OR OTHERS?

 

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #ALLTHATSJAS. I can’t wait to see your spin on it!

 


Horizontal overhead view of skillet corn pie from Chile
Print Recipe

Chilean Skillet Shepherd's Corn Pie

Delicious Chilean beef pie topped with corn mixture in the style of shepherd's pie is bursting with South American flavors.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chilean
Servings: 4
Author: Jas

INGREDIENTS:

For the Meat Layer

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup beef broth or water
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the Corn Layer

  • 3 cups sweet corn frozen, fresh or canned (I used frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 1 bunch of sweet basil chopped or julienned (about 5 leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn flour or cornmeal
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs halved

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet, heat one tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the pound of ground beef and break into chunks with a wooden spoon; sauté until lightly brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in the chopped onion and two minced garlic cloves, and one cup beef broth or water. Add two teaspoons chili powder, one teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat until onions are soft, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in one tablespoon cornstarch and cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes more; set aside to cool.
  • In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add 3 cups of frozen corn and stir occasionally allowing the corn to melt, about 8 minutes.
  • Add one cup cream, a bunch of chopped or julienned basil, one teaspoon chili powder (optional), and salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking, occasionally stirring, for about 10 more minutes.
  • With an immersion blender, process the corn leaving some chunks for texture. Add the 1 ½ tablespoons corn flour or cornmeal and continue cooking at medium heat for 5 more minutes, until thickened, but it's not too dry.
  • Place the 3 halved hard-boiled eggs on top of the meat mixture. Spread the corn mixture evenly over the eggs.
  • Bake in the 400 degrees Fahrenheit preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until it is bubbling and browning on top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

RECIPE NOTES:

  • For hard-boiled eggs, cover the eggs with cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook the eggs for 8-10 minutes. Drain and run cold water over the eggs for a minute or until eggs are cooled down (helps with easy peeling).
  • Instead of egg halves, you can chop them and then layer over the meat.
  • If your top is not getting brown, turn on your broiler for a minute or two.
  • You can prepare the meat mixture and corn topping a day ahead and keep refrigerated until ready to bake. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and add 10 more minutes to the baking time. Omit the broiling.
  • Traditionally, this corn pie is baked in pailas, clay bowls. You can use individual ramekins or make it in a casserole dish. I prefer my cast-iron skillet. 
Tried this recipe?Snap a photo and mention @all_thats_jas or tag #allthatsjas on Instagram for a chance to be featured!

NUTRITIONS:

Nutrition Facts
Chilean Skillet Shepherd's Corn Pie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 791 Calories from Fat 540
% Daily Value*
Fat 60g92%
Saturated Fat 25g125%
Cholesterol 302mg101%
Sodium 843mg35%
Potassium 731mg21%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 2315IU46%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 94mg9%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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Jas

publisher and creative director at All that's Jas
Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates or purchase the full version below. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
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20 Comment

  1. Reply
    Suzy
    August 27, 2019 at 9:43 am

    Wow the layers of this dish sound amazing! I love eating shepherds pie so definitely need to try this ASAP!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      August 28, 2019 at 6:29 pm

      This pie is packed with flavors! Even my husband loves it and he’s not a fan of shepherd’s pie.

  2. Reply
    Toni | Boulder Locavore
    August 27, 2019 at 9:54 am

    This was really amazing! Really flavorful and easy to make!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      August 28, 2019 at 6:30 pm

      It truly is. You must try it! 😀

  3. Reply
    kim
    August 27, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Love this dinner idea! It’s so easy and has so much flavor!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      August 28, 2019 at 6:31 pm

      Thanks, Kim! It’s super flavorful!

  4. Reply
    Traci
    August 27, 2019 at 10:20 am

    I am crazy about this scrumptious recipe and ALL the layers of flavor. This one’s going into my collection…thank you!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      August 28, 2019 at 6:31 pm

      So glad you like, Tracy! Enjoy 🙂

  5. Reply
    pegasuslegend
    August 27, 2019 at 10:22 am

    those flavors and photos made my mouth water cant wait to try this one!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      August 28, 2019 at 6:31 pm

      That makes me happy! You’ll love it. xx

  6. Reply
    Lizzy
    August 27, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Anything with corn is a winning recipe in my book – and this is new to me! Can’t wait to try

    1. Reply
      Jas
      August 28, 2019 at 6:32 pm

      I know you’ll love it, Lizzy! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Reply
    Kim | Give it Some Thyme
    August 28, 2019 at 11:09 am

    What a fantastic dish Jas! Love cooking with cast iron and such a terrific way to use late summer corn. Looks so flavorful and love the combination of ingredients!!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      August 28, 2019 at 6:33 pm

      Thank you, Kim! It surprised me how good it is. Now it’s on our dinner rotation often. 🙂

  8. Reply
    Chelsey
    August 28, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Love the unique twist on this Shepard’s pie! The corn topping looks delicious and I’m a huge fan of smoked paprika – adds so much flavor! Looks amazing!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      August 28, 2019 at 6:35 pm

      I LOVE smoked paprika and add it to almost everything. I even sprinkle it on my salmon. It gives it such a depth of flavor! Thanks, Chelsey!

  9. Reply
    Alexandra Shunk
    August 28, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Wow this Chilean-style shepherd’s corn pie is something I’ve never heard of before! I love trying new foods and new takes on recipes especially from a different parts of the world. I’ll need to try this one soon!!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      August 28, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      Aleka, you will love it! So flavorful and easy to make. Thanks for stopping in!

  10. Reply
    Haley
    September 11, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Jas you always make recipes that I never thought I could make seem so approachable!! This looks fab – not to mention I just LOVE traditional shepherds pie, and this looks like an upgrade for sure!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      September 11, 2019 at 1:22 pm

      Awe, thanks so much! I love hearing that. ♥

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