Chivito “El Canadiense” Recipe | Wine Enthusiast
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Chivito “El Canadiense”

Recipe courtesy Gonzalo Bava, owner, Charrúa, New York City

The chivito, an overstuffed seared-meat sandwich, is Uruguay’s unofficial national dish, and the Canadiense (Canadian) version is the most common. With three meats, including filet mignon, Charrúa’s deluxe version is its most popular menu item.


10–11 ounces filet mignon
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 strips bacon
½ medium white onion, sliced thin
2 brioche rolls, halved
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ beefsteak tomato, cut into 4 slices
4 ounces jarred roasted red peppers (about ½ large pepper), sliced
2 ounces sliced cooked ham
2 ounces sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
2 leaves lettuce 
2 boiled eggs, sliced
½ cup sliced green olives


Heat oven to 475˚F. Cut filet mignon into ¼-inch slices, then pound to ⅛-inch thick. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside.

Cook bacon in skillet over medium-high heat until it starts to crisp. Remove from pan, and set aside. Add filet mignon in batches, if necessary. Sear 30 seconds on each side. >Remove from pan, and set aside. Add onion, and cook until it just softens and starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Spread 1 tablespoon mayo on each half of roll. Layer tomato, steak, onion, bacon, red peppers, ham and mozzarella evenly on top of bottom half of rolls. Place open-faced sandwiches in oven until cheese melts, about 2–3 minutes.

Remove from oven. Add lettuce, eggs and olives. Finish with top half of rolls. Slice in half, and serve immediately. Serves 2.

Wine Pairing

Local Pairing

Viñedos de los Vientos 2017 Anarkia Tannat (Uruguay). “Tannat is a classic pairing with chivito, and I particularly like this one from Atlántida, Uruguay,” says Bava. “The gentle tannins work very well cutting the richness of the meats and melted cheese, cleaning the palate for the next bite.”

Global Pairing

Leeuwin Summer 2017 Siblings Shiraz (Margaret River). Shiraz/Syrah is terrific with cured meats like ham and bacon, as well as piquant veggies like red peppers and olives. This wine’s berry and spice notes meld well with the chivito’s many flavors.

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