Peruvians use corn in countless preparations. Pastel de choclo is one of the favorite dishes that my Peruvian husband’s family makes and was one of the first dishes I learned to prepare when I moved to Lima over 12 years ago. This corn pudding is filled with beef, raisins, black olives, and hard-boiled eggs.
It’s almost the same filling that is used for empanadas, papas rellenas, or arroz tapado. But believe me, the combination is amazing and it becomes completely new when eaten this way.
A good Pastel de choclo must be soft and creamy; you should be able to eat it with a spoon (or a fork if you wish). I use cream instead of regular milk in my recipe for the extra creaminess. Here in Peru, we have access to the Peruvian giant white corn, but if you can’t find this any white corn can be used.
Don’t use sweet yellow corn though, because the result will be totally different. Many Latino specialty stores in the U.S. sell Peruvian corn, but many times it’s already cooked. If you can find it frozen and uncooked, that’s what you would want to use.
There are versions of this dish that substitute the beef with chicken or seafood, but I prefer this traditional version with the beef. A vegetarian version is also very easy to make, substituting the beef for cheese slices, or simply preparing it without a filling. I typically prepare this recipe the evening before I serve it and heat it up in the oven the next day.
You can enjoy this dish as an appetizer, entree, or side dish. It tastes best served warm. Many people enjoy this dish served with salsa criolla or the popular huancaina sauce. This is a filling dish and a great example of Peruvian comfort food.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Serves: Approximately 8-10
Cover photo: Gaston Acurio Facebook