Uruguay is situated on the east coast of South America, sharing borders with Brazil and Argentina.
Often called the Switzerland of South America for it’s stable democracy and social benefits such as free education.
Uruguay is ranked first in Latin America for democracy, peace, lack of corruption and quality of living. It boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the world with 98.1% for adults. The Economist named Uruguay “country of the year” in 2013. It is regarded as one of the most liberal nations in the world and most socially developed. In December 2013, Uruguay became the world’s first country to legalise the marijuana trade.
Uruguay is the only country that keeps track of 100 per cent of its cattle, of which, apparently there are 3 to every person!
The Uruguay national football team has won the FIFA World Cup on two occasions – at the inaugural tournament in 1930 and again in 1950. It has also won gold for football at the 1924 and 1928 Olympics, which are the only gold medals they have ever won so far.
“Liberta o Murte” is Uruguay’s motto – “freedom or death”.
Thanks to it’s relatively temperate climate and stretches of beaches, it attracts many tourists each year. Highlights include Montevideo, it’s culturally rich capital city, idyllic fishing villages such as Cabo Polonio, gaucho cowboys and tasty Parillas (steakhouses).
Beef is a major part of Uruguayan cuisine with Asado being very popular (a BBQ of different types of beef). Also empanada (a meat filled turnover), Ñoquis (gnocchi which is traditionally eaten on the 29th of each month as years ago they only had flour & potatoes left at the end of the month!)
I opted to cook ‘Chivito’, Uruguay’s national sandwich!
Rating: 9/10. It would’ve been a 10/10 if I had chosen a better bun like ciabatta. It is important that you buy quality ingredients for this recipe. Don’t scrimp on the steak, bacon or mozzarella!
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
2 burger buns or ciabatta (or your preferred type of bread roll)
2 beef fillet steaks
2 pieces of bacon
2 slices of deli ham
2 tomato slices
2 slices of mozzarella cheese
1-2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Place a large skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon slices until crispy. Set aside on paper towels to cool.
Drain the excess bacon fat out of the skillet.
Sprinkle each steak with coarse salt, and use a mallet to pound the steaks. Heat the skillet over medium high heat until hot, and place steaks on the skillet.
Cook for about 1 and a half minutes per side, or until desired doneness.
Set aside on paper towels to rest.
Wipe the skillet clean. Melt the butter over medium heat, and fry eggs sunnyside up until desired doneness.
Preheat the grill.
Assemble sandwiches: Spread the inside of buns with ketchup and mayonnaise.
Place lettuce slices over bottom half of buns.
Top with a slice of beef, 2 bacon slices, a slice of ham, a slice of tomato, and a slice of mozzarella.
Place sandwiches (uncovered) under the grill briefly (keeping a close eye on them) to melt the cheese.
Remove from the grill and add the fried egg over the cheese, then top with the other half of the bun.