Pastel de Choclo (Chilean Shepherd’s Pie)

Serves 4-6

| Prep Time: 5 mins

| Cook Time: 45 mins

| Total Time: 50 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Chile is a sliver of a country that runs 2600 miles down the Pacific Ocean side of South America. If you laid Chile over Europe and Africa, it would run from London to Lagos (Nigeria)! The geography of Chile is breathtaking: in the North lies the driest desert in the world; rugged mountains with glaciers in Patagonia lie at the southern tip of South America; in between is a fertile central valley filled with vineyards and modern Cities; all of these are watched over by snow capped volcanoes in the Andes mountains. The cuisine of Chile is shaped by waves of immigrants over the past 2 centuries, especially the British, German and Spanish who used local ingredients in their traditional recipes. This Chilean Shepherd's Pie (called Pastel de Choclo) use a sweet-corn "pudding" as a topping over the beef casserole. The result is a sweet-salty-savory comfort dish that is easy to make and very satisfying. 

This dish is spiced with our all-purpose Chilean seasoning we call Patagonian Sunset. Slightly smoky, with savory flavors from onion and roasted garlic. This blend is balanced with nutty and herbal notes, including from boldo leaf, an herb native to Chile that is used like bay leaf. Customize this dish by using chicken instead of beef or making it vegetarian and clearing out all the veggies from the fridge. 


  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 lb. ground beef

  • 1 Tbsp Piquant Post Patagonian Sunset spice

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ cup raisins (optional)

  • ½ cup sliced olives (optional)

  • 3 hard boiled eggs, quartered (optional)

  • 2 Tbsp butter

  • 4 cups frozen corn

  • ½ cup whole milk

  • 1 tsp tapioca flour (or cornstarch)

  • ¼ cup water

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp granulated sugar


A slurry is a mixture of starch and liquid, which is used as a thickening agent. Slurries are commonly made with cornstarch, arrowroot or tapioca flour. Before adding a slurry to a dish, give it a good stir right before adding, as the starch tends to settle at the bottom and clump. 

This dish can be made in any oven-safe dish. Use a casserole dish, or a cast-iron to achieve crispier edges.

We love to use sugar under the broiler to create a more caramelized top. This step is optional (but highly recommended!) If making the dish ahead of time, wait to do broil with the sugar right before serving.

Serve this alongside this simple and refreshing Chilean Salad.

Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat oil over Med-High heat. Add onions and garlic, then stir fry for 4-5 minutes. Stir in 1 Tbsp Patagonian Sunset spice and stir fry for another minute, until fragrant. Add ground beef, using a spatula to break apart into smaller pieces and stir fry until browned and mostly cooked, about 7-8 minutes. Mix in salt, raisins, olives, and hard boiled eggs.

In a medium pot, heat butter over low heat, until melted. Add frozen corn and milk. Bring the heat to Med and stir until corn is thawed. Using a hand blender, blend the corn mixture to a semi-smooth consistency (some chunks will remain). In a small bowl, mix water with tapioca flour or cornstarch to create a slurry. Mix the slurry into the corn and bring mixture to a low boil for 1 minute and stir. The mixture will start to thicken.

In a baking dish, add the ground beef mixture to the bottom of the pan. Top with the corn mixture. Bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, sprinkle sugar on top of the corn topping. Heat oven on broil setting about 2-3 minutes, carefully watching the dish to only just brown the top crust to your liking.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • Substitute the ground beef for ground turkey or ground chicken, but stick with a fattier meat, so it doesn’t dry out.

  • For a vegan/vegetarian pastel de choclo, use plant-based ground meat, coconut milk instead of whole milk, and vegetable oil instead of butter. You can also sub in mushrooms, chickpeas, or any of your favorite veggies like squash!

  • If you don’t have tapioca flour, you can use cornstarch or flour.

  • Try using our Patagonian Sunset spice in Empanadas de Pino, Pollo Arvejado (Chilean chicken stew), or Porotos con Riendas (Spaghetti, beans and squash stew).   

  • Be sure to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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