There is something about writing the heading for a recipe in its native language. It adds an air of mystery, wonder and even credibility. It draws you in. You may not even be reading this if I simply wrote: Steak Sandwich with Ham, Cheese and Egg. Stay with me though, as this is no ordinary steak sandwich. This is El Chivito – the ultimate Uruguayan steak sandwich.
As with any steak sandwich, the chivito can be made in roughly two ways. You can buy the individual ingredients, cook what is required and assemble the sandwich. Alternatively you can lovingly make the ingredients (where applicable) and enjoy a wonderful treat. Granted, the second option takes a great deal more time and effort but it is worth every second. I homemade the bread following this recipe (excluding the poppy seeds). Instead of baking it in a loaf tin, I rolled the risen dough on my counter to make it the length of my widest baking tray before placing on the floured tray, covering with a tea towel to rise for an hour and baking at 190 deg (170 fan) for 25 minutes. When cooled, I cut it into 4 even baps.
I used this recipe for mayonnaise (leaving out the garlic and paprika) but I do have to confess to using shop bought ketchup – I don’t like ketchup so I felt no inclination to make it. If you would rather a quick and simple chivito, it is important to use good quality bread (ciabatta would be a good choice, or a Waterford Blaa would be perfect), excellent beef and good Buffalo Mozzarella.
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Bap, Ciabatta or Blaa (see above)
1 Minute Steak (or thin fillet steak, if you prefer)
1 thick slice of Tomato
1 slice of Prosciutto
2 tbsp Shredded Lettuce
2 thick slices of Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese (preferably Irish)
1 tbsp Butter
1 Free-Range Egg
1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
1 tbsp Mayonnaise
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Two hours before making the chivito, remove the steaks from the fridge and place between two sheets of greaseproof paper. Bash evenly with a rolling pin to flatten. Season well with salt and pepper and let stand at room temperature until ready to cook.
Mix the mayo and ketchup together and set aside. Slice the mozzarella and season with a little salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. Let sit at room temperature.
When ready to cook, place the prosciutto onto a cold frying pan and set over a medium high heat. As soon as it begins to darken, remove from the pan and set aside. Allow the pan to heat up before adding the oil. Carefully place the steaks into the pan and don’t touch them for one minute. Turn the steaks, and cook on the other side for one minute also. Depending on how thin you bashed them, this should be enough to give you a rare steak.
Remove the steaks onto a plate and allow to rest. Remove the pan from the heat for a couple of minutes before adding the butter to it. Place over a low heat and gently fry the egg until the white is set but the yolk remains runny. Pre-heat your grill.
Its time to assemble! Cut the bap in half and spread a tablespoon of the ketchup/mayo mix onto the top half and a tablespoon onto the bottom half. Place the steak on the bottom piece, followed by the lettuce, prosciutto, tomato and mozzarella. Put this under the hot grill until the mozzarella is melted and bubbly. Remove from the grill before putting the egg on top and finishing with the top of the bap.
I served this on its own and struggled to finish it.