2 eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons olive oil
350g kūmara, grated
1½ teaspoons salt
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, ground
2 teaspoons smoked paprika, plus extra to sprinkle
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons flour
500g beef mince
½ cup beef stock
½ cup pitted black olives
3 cups frozen corn kernels, defrosted
150g crème fraîche
150g feta or cheddar, grated
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

A few years ago I had a birthday in Santiago, Chile and I chose to go to a little local restaurant that specialised in pastel de choclo, a South American speciality a bit like a cottage pie. Paired with a malbec, it made the perfect comfort dinner. Most often made with beef and chicken, I have just used the beef and included kūmara for another layer. I have also added cheese to the corn topping because it tastes so good.


1.Heat the oven to 180°C.
2.Put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, simmer for 3 minutes then drain. Peel and set aside.
3.Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the kūmara, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
4.Transfer to a plate and set aside.
5.Add the rest of the oil and the onion to the pan, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
6.Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano and flour and cook for 1 minute.
7.Raise the heat to medium-high, add the mince and cook, stirring for 5 minutes until browned then add the stock and bring to the boil, still stirring.
8.Spoon into a deep, ovenproof dish.
9.Dot the olives over the top then slice the eggs and arrange these on top.
10.Cover with the kūmara in an even layer.
11.Put the corn in a food processor with the crème fraîche and the last ½ teaspoon of salt and blend to a rough purée.
12.Blend in the cheese and basil.
13.Spoon the corn over to cover the top of the pie.
14.Sprinkle with paprika.
15.Bake for 40 minutes until hot and bubbling.

Recipes and food styling Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles

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