Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chilean Corn Pie (Pastel de Choclo) with Pebre Sauce

Chile’s pastel de choclo, or corn pie, is a hearty casserole typically made with beef (sometimes chicken), onions, raisins, olives, eggs, and, of course, corn. The combination lends depth to the dish with a sweet, salty, and savory balance of flavors.

Pebre is Chile’s popular spicy green condiment made with hot chiles and cilantro. It’s similar to Argentina’s chimichurri sauce, only hotter. Pastel de choclo is not typically served with pebre, but I used the sauce here simply to add a little spice to the meat and vegetables.

Serves 4


For the Pebre
  • 2 small, hot green chiles (such as serrano or cayenne), finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • sea salt
Pebre Ingredients
For the Corn Pie
  • 16 oz frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • olive oil for oiling dish, plus 2 tbsp, divided
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced
Pie Vegetables and Fruits

For the Pebre
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt. Cover and let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour (or up to 4).
Pebre Sauce
For the Corn Pie
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8 X 8-inch baking dish.
  2. Grind the corn in a food processor to form a thick paste, with some whole kernels remaining.
Corn Paste
  1. Heat a medium skillet over low heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the corn paste and milk to the skillet and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and cook slowly, stirring until hot and creamy, about 2 minutes. Cover and set aside.
Cooked Corn Mixture
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the ground beef and next 5 ingredients (through oregano) and season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Stir well to combine and cook until the beef is cooked through and most of the liquid is absorbed, 10 minutes.
Beef Mixture Beginning to Cook
Cooked Beef Mixture

  1. Transfer the beef mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading evenly across the bottom. Lay the egg slices on top of the beef mixture and spread the corn mixture over the meat and eggs to cover completely. Season with a little ground pepper.
Beef with Egg Layer
Corn Pie Ready to Bake
  1. Bake uncovered until the top is set and slightly brown in spots, 13-15 minutes.
  2. Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes.
Baked Corn Pie
To serve, slice the corn pie into 4 pieces and divide among plates. Drizzle each with the pebre sauce and serve leftover sauce at the table.

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