Pastelón de harina de maíz (cornmeal casserole) combines savory and sweet flavors and the results are nothing short of spectacular.
Why we ❤️ it
This week we had dinner at a restaurant locals know and like well. One of their dishes, pastelón de harina de maíz (savory cornbread casserole using cornmeal) brought memories of my first kitchen adventures as a couple, and how this dish was always a favorite of my husband.
I think this is one of those dishes that once tried, you'll definitely add to your own repertoire. It just looks refined, while still being simple and easy to prepare, not to mention that it makes for the perfect dish for potlucks and leftover meals.
For this recipe, I have gone with the classic, beef filling, but you can try some of our other favorites, like a chicken filling, or even a vegan filling (and skip the cheese).
Pastelón de harina de maíz.
This corn meal casserole recipe is a one-pan dish, and aside, maybe, from a light Dominican salad, it requires no other dishes for a full meal.
About this recipe
Think of this recipe as the lovechild of polenta and lasagna. It combines the best of both worlds, but with an added twist: as in many of our dishes, this one combines savory and sweet flavors.
For the record, I don’t think there is an ounce of Italian in this dish, it is purely, unadulterated, industrial-grade Dominican.
I'd love to hear what you think of mixing savory and sweet ingredients in a meal.
This awesome free recipe contains Amazon affiliate links, we receive a small commission from any purchase you make at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
[Recipe + Video] Pastelón de Harina de Maíz (Cornmeal & Beef Casserole)
- 4 cups tomato sauce , (our recipe) (leave it chunky, and season with salt and pepper to taste)
- Beef filling , (or filling of your choice)
Cornmeal layers and assembly
- 2 cups cornmeal, (polenta can also be used)
- 2 tablespoons sugar (white, granulated)
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, Extra oil for greasing the pan
- ½ cup raisins, (optional)
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, (or mozzarella, or a mix of both)
- Cooking the cornmeal: In a large pot mix in, cornmeal, 6 cups of water, sugar, salt, and olive oil. Let it rest for an hour (if possible).Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. When it comes to the boil lower the fire and continue stirring until it has the consistency of cream cheese and starts lifting from the pot. Remove from the heat.
- Assembling: Heat oven to 300 ºF [145 ºC]. Grease a 9" x 9" x 3" [23 cm x 23 cm x 9cm] baking pan.Spread ½ of the cornmeal mixture in the baking pan. Cover it with ½ of the cheese, then the meat. Spread the remaining cornmeal mixture and cover with the other half of the cheese. Bake until it turns golden brown.
- Serving: Let it cool for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with the tomato sauce and serve with green salad (baby arugula with an olive oil vinaigrette is perfect for this).
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
Published Jan 31, 2011, revised