Pastel San Pedrino, also known as Torta de San Pedro, is a dish popular in El Huila department of Colombia. This dish is a staple during Las Fiestas de San Pedro (St Peter’s Festival), a religious celebration introduced by the Spanish conquerors. It is usually held in Neiva, the capital of Huila, in late June each year, where you can experience traditional Colombian music, parades and food.
Pastel San Pedrino (Cornmeal, Rice and Meat Casserole)
For the filling
- 2 chicken breast
- 1 pound pork loin
- 1 cup of aliños sauce see the recipe here
- 1 cup of peas
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- ½ cup onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cups of cooked rice
- 2 large potatoes peeled and cooked
For the dough
- 2 cups precooked yellow corn flour
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 cup of cottage cheese o cuajada
For the dough:
- Mix the cheese with the cornflour and broth. Season with salt.
For the filling:
- Place the chicken breast, pork, salt , aliños sauce and water. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes or until the meats are cooked. Shred the cooked pork and chicken and place it in a bowl. In a small skillet place one tablespoon of oil and add the onions and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add this mixture to the shredded meat, diced potatoes, peas and rice. Mix well.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a baking pan and spread with half of the dough and press down. Then, add the rice mixture, press down and with the rest of the dough, cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the dough is cooked.
This festival was created to celebrate "The Jura”, an activity of obedience and respect to the King of Spain. Since 1960, Las Fiestas de San Pedro took on a new direction and it was named Festival Folclórico y Reinado Nacional del Bambuco (Folk Festival and the National Bambuco Pageant).
This Colombian casserole is a warm and cozy comfort food. It does take a bit of time to assemble and bake, but it’s one of those kitchen projects that don’t feel tedious, but rather enables you to truly enjoy the process of putting together a fabulous home-cooked meal.
Traditionally this casserole is made by soaking and grinding dried corn to make the dough, but this time I used yellow masarepa (precooked corn flour) to make it, for a simpler and faster process. But feel free to make it the traditional way using dried corn if you prefer. Also, there are variations of the filling and some people add a mix of pork, beef, longaniza (sausage) and chicken, but feel free to use the mix of meats that you prefer. For this recipe I used pork and chicken.