Archive 2008 - 2019

Day 189

by Sarah R. Commerford
4/17/2012


At last, the declared dude-favorite of all the countries I've cooked in thus far. The manly Chivito sandwich wins the blue ribbon seal of approval from my husband and sons alike. Packed with three different kinds of meat, cheese and egg, this sandwich must be eaten with two hands while bending slightly forward from the waist over a plate or paper towel - or both. The Salsa golf sauce, a combination of ketchup and mayonnaise my boys have always been partial to, puts the perfect finishing condiment touch on the Chivito, the national sandwich of Uruguay. Depending on the recipe, there are many slight variations of this street snack that include the addition of pickles, olives and peppers to name just a few, but I skipped those and kept to what seemed like the most consistent recipe combination. I did however have to opt for thinly sliced sirloin steak tips (props to my butcher for doing the work for me) instead of pricey fillet mignon which is the authentic cut called for, since the cost was a total budget-buster. Ah well, necessity is the mother of invention.

 

Map Courtesy of Lonely Planetwww.lonelyplanet.com

Officially the Republic of of Uruguay, the country is located in the southeastern part of South America, and shares its borders with Argentina and Brazil. Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America and was the original home to Charrua Indians who inhabited the beautiful land before European colonization. Montevideo, the country's capital was founded by the Spanish during the 18th century as a military stronghold and was explored by numerous seafarers. Between 1811-1828, the country was torn in a three-way struggle with the colonies of Spain, Argentina and Brazil, but finally gained its independence. This gorgeous country is known for pristine beaches, interesting cities, great food and vibrant night life. One of the most economically developed countries in South America, Uruguay was the first country in this part of the world to legalize same-sex and different sex civil unions and gay adoption. Right on.

Food in Uruguay has been influenced by the Spanish who first introduced cattle. Mediterranean influences are also infused in the food from countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Britain, Africa and to a lesser degree, ancient indigenous traditions. Barbecue, or Asado (mixed grill), is one of the country's most impressive and delicious offerings, along with the chivito (meaning 'little goat') sandwich, pasta, sausages and rich desserts. Dolche Leche (sweet and creamy) is used to fill cakes, cookies and to make custards. Grappamiel, a popular drink that combines alcohol and honey can be found throughout the country - I'm really curious about what that tastes like.

Sliced tomatoes, onions and lettuce
 

Sliced fresh mozzarella
 

Onions, sauted in a little bacon grease
 

Saute sliced beef and ham
 

Use good crusty rolls like these that will hold up to this hefty sandwich
 

 

Salsa Golf Sauce - a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup is a popular combination in Uruguay

 

Spread Salsa Golf on roll
 

Layer lettuce, beef, bacon, ham, tomato, onions and mozzarella, then broil just until cheese melts
 

My husband gives Chivito an enthusiastic two thumbs up!
 


Chivito (Adapted from About.com)

4 very large sandwich buns (large ciabatta rolls are good)
2 beef filet steaks, or 4 thin slices of grilled steak
8 pieces of bacon
4 slices of deli ham
4 tomato slices
1/2 thinly sliced onion (optional)
4 slices of mozzarella cheese
4 eggs
1-2 tablespoons butter
Lettuce
Mayonnaise
Ketchup
Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation:
 

  1. Place a large skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon slices until crispy. Set aside on paper towels to cool.
  2. If using the filet steaks, drain the excess bacon fat out of the skillet. Slice each filet in half crosswise, to make 2 thin steaks (4 total). Sprinkle with coarse salt, and use a mallet to pound the steaks even thinner.
  3. Heat the skillet over medium high heat until hot, and place steaks on the skillet. Cook for about two minutes per side, or until desired doneness. Remove to paper towels to cool. Add onions and saute until golden, remove to paper towels to cool.
  4. Wipe the skillet clean. Melt the butter in over medium heat, and fry eggs sunnyside up until desired doneness.
  5. Preheat the broiler.

    Assemble sandwiches: Spread inside of buns with ketchup and mayonnaise. Place lettuce slices over bottom half of buns. Top with a slice of beef, two bacon slices, a slice of ham, a slice of tomato, and a slice of mozzarella.