Pastelón de harina de maíz (cornmeal casserole) combines savory and sweet flavors and the results are nothing short of spectacular.

Tomato sauce – 4 cups tomato sauce (our recipe), (leave it chunky, and season with salt and pepper to taste) Filling – Beef filling (our recipe), (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.


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.Heat oven to 300 ºF [145 ºC]. Grease a 9" x 9" x 3" [23 cm x 23 cm x 9cm] baking pan.


 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).

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