The Chivito: Uruguay's Most Iconic Sandwich

A chivito sandwich
Matt Rubens/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches (4 servings)
Ratings (9)

The chivito is the national sandwich of Uruguay. Its importance in the country is on a par with hamburgers in the United States, fish and chips in the U.K., the Cuban sandwich in Cuba, and steaks in Argentina. This sandwich is not for the faint of heart or appetite, either. 

The chivito (which translates as "little goat") is a serious sandwich filled with meat. The star ingredient is a slice of churrasco, which is thinly sliced grilled beef. This is topped with slices of ham, bacon, lettuce, tomato, melted mozzarella cheese, and a fried egg.

You might want to eat this with no accompaniments since it is a balanced meal in itself, with plenty of protein, vegetables, and bread. If you do want a side, choose something simple like cole slaw, french fries, or onion rings. A beer is a great way to wash it all down.

What You'll Need

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 2 beef fillet steaks (or 4 thin slices grilled steak)
  • Salt (coarse, to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • 1–2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 sandwich buns (very large such as large ciabatta rolls)
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 4 slices ham (deli cut)
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese

How to Make It

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon slices until they are crispy. Set aside on paper towels to cool.
  2. If you're using steaks, drain the excess bacon fat out of the skillet. Slice each fillet in half crosswise to make 2 thin steaks from each.
  3. Sprinkle with coarse salt and black pepper. Use a mallet to pound the steaks even thinner.
  4. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat until hot and place steaks on the skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until they reach the desired doneness. Place on paper towels to cool.
  1. Wipe the skillet clean. Melt the butter over medium heat and fry the eggs sunny-side up until they are done to your preference.
  2. Preheat your broiler.
  3. Spread the inside of the buns with ketchup and mayonnaise. Place the lettuce pieces on the bottom halves of the buns.
  4. Top with each sandwich with 2 slices of bacon, a slice of beef, a slice of ham, a slice of tomato, and a slice of mozzarella.
  5. Place the uncovered sandwiches under the broiler briefly to melt the cheese. Keep a close eye on the sandwiches so the cheese doesn't burn.
  6. Remove the sandwiches from the oven and place a fried egg over the cheese, then top with the other half of the bun. Serve immediately.

Optional toppings include cooked onions, olives, peppers, and pickles. Salsa golf, a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise that is popular in Argentina and Uruguay, is the perfect condiment for this sandwich.