Recipe feeds 6 normal people or 4 very hungry people
“Pino” (ground beef filling)
- 500 grams ground beef (low fat is best)
- 3 onions (see note 1)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- A little bit of cooking oil
- Salt and cumin to taste
- Raisins, soaked in hot water
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, divide each egg into 4 segments
- 6 small pieces of chicken
- Chop onion and garlic finely.
- Heat a little oil in a frying pan; add the onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes.
- Add the ground beef to the frying pan and cook over low heat until the meat is no longer red. Stir regularly.
- Add salt and cumin to taste. (see Note 2)
- Put the prepared “pino” in an oven proof dish.
- Boil the chicken in water with salt and some herbs such as bay leaves or other herbs you have on hand.
- In your mind, divide the ovenproof dish into desired portions sizes (for instance six if you have six portions for chicken – but you can make each portion smaller or larger as you wish) and within the (imagined boundaries of each) portion place a piece of chicken together with a piece of egg, an olive and some raisins.
- Next – prepare the corn paste.
Corn Paste Topping
- 6 fresh ears of corn or 2 cans of corn (see note 3)
- Several leaves of fresh basil (see note 4)
- Remember to pre-heat the oven to 200 °C (see note 5)
- If using fresh corn, carefully cut the corn from the cob.
- If using cans of corn and the can has a lot of liquid in it, let it drain.
- Put the corn and the basil in a blender and puree the mix.
- If you used fresh corn, you need to put the corn and basil mix in a pan and let it simmer on low heat for a few minutes. You can skip this step if you use canned corn as that corn has already been cooked.
- Place the corn paste on top of the “pino“, chicken, olives, egg and raisins that you previously placed in the ovenproof dish.
- Spread the corn paste evenly to make a pretty cover for the dish. Sprinkle with some sugar to help give it a prettier color after baking.
- Put the dish in the oven and cook till the corn starts to brown on the top and around the edges. Remember that all ingredients have already been fully cooked, so you are really just warming it up and making the flavors mix together.
Notes and Comments:
Note 1 – I am not a fan of a lot of onion so I use about one onion and lots of green onions (spring onions) instead as they have a gentler flavor, but this depends on your own preferences.
Note 2 – Sometimes I also add paprika powder to give the “pino” a nicer color.
Note 3 – The recipe calls for 2 cans of corn. The cans in Chile are much larger than in Norway and I would recommend using at least 4 Norwegian sized cans. I love the corn paste topping so the truth is I usually use even more corn than that, but once you try the recipe you will figure out how much corn you prefer to use. There should be enough corn paste to at least cover the “pino”, chicken, eggs etc…
Note 4 – The taste will be best if you can use fresh basil for this recipe, but I know that may be hard to find in Norway so then you can use the dry basil (basilikum) that they sell in the herb and spice section of the supermarket.
Note 5 – The oven temperature may vary depending on the oven. It should be quite high, but if it starts burning, try a lower temperature such as 180 °C.
General comments: If you do not like the raisins or olives, these can be left out. You can also reduce the amount of garlic if your guests do not care much for garlic. Also, the Chileans will normally have pieces of chicken in this dish but this can also be left out if you prefer a simpler version. The Chilean food is generally not spicy, but if you want to add some “kick” to the dish you can definitely add a little chili powder, but not too much because it would overpower the sweet flavor of the corn.