A while ago I was asked to take part in Frontera Wine blogger challenge, to celebrate the new labels on Frontera wine. Frontera wine is the world’s best-selling Chilean wine brand and now each label reflects the heritage of the wine with a visual story and a poem in the ‘Lira Popular’ style. Lira Popular is a poetry style that is popular in Chile.
For my first recipe I created a traditional English dish, roast beef slow cooked in red wine sauce. For my second dish I wanted to try a Chilean dish to celebrate the heritage of the wine and I decided to make Pastel De Choclo. Translated it means corn pie, but it is really more like a shepherd’s pie with a layer of creamed corn on the top and baked in the oven. The dish also includes raisins, boiled eggs and olives making it a real fusion between the native Indian and European influences in Chilean cooking.
It was a little blackbird // That gave me my name // Mirlo they called it // beautiful and dark //
Two things we share // Along with a joyful song // Grapes with magical roots
Pastel de Choclo is perfect winter comfort food, the warming layer of meat with the caramelised sweetness of the corn on the top makes it ideal for a cold day. The mix of spice and the sweetness of the raisins in the meat add a new depth and the merlot adds a subtle flavour. My son loved this dish and kept asking for more. In honour of the dish I created my own Lira Popular to reflect the meal.
A mix of mince, raisins and eggs // topped with corn // Pastel de choclo is its name // savoury and sweet
Warming and filling // empty your plate // a traditional dish.
I wasn’t sure how well the eggs would work with the meat but they actually add more flavour. Traditionally olives are added as well but I missed these out as my son does not like them. The dish whist unusual is really tasty and worth making the effort to cook.
Pastel De Choclo Recipe
- Olive oil
- 500 g beef mince
- 2 onions
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 tbsp red wine
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 eggs
- For the topping
- 500 g sweetcorn
- 230 ml whipping cream
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4.
- Place the raisins in a bowl, cover with hot water and leave to stand for five minutes. Drain the water off.
- Boil the eggs
- Put some olive oil into a pan and heat. Add the beef and fry until brown.
- Put the beef in a bowl.
- Chop the onions and garlic and add to the pan, cook till soft.
- Add the beef, raisins, cumin, paprika and wine into the onion mixture.
- Stir well and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Place in a casserole dish and layer the chopped hard boiled eggs on top
- In a food processor mix the sweetcorn with the cream and blended until puréed.
- Pour the mixture into a clean frying pan and cook until dark yellow in colour.
- Top the beef with the sweetcorn mixture.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle the top with sugar and place in the oven until it caramelises, keep an eye on it so it does not burn