Whoever thought that green beans belonged in a sandwich deserves our gratitude. Even my husband, who is Chilean, had forgotten how good this sandwich was and was not excited about having a Chacarero for dinner, then obviously wanted more.
The Chacarero sandwich is a beloved Chilean sandwich known for its unique combination of ingredients, including thinly sliced beef, green beans, tomatoes, and chili peppers. It’s a popular cafeteria and casual meal option in Chile, offering a mix of flavors and textures that make it genuinely distinctive.
The name of the Chacarero comes from the word Chacra, which is the small plot for vegetables next to a home or an allotment garden. So this sandwich honors the veggies and the gardener.
Here’s a breakdown of the critical components and preparation of the Chilean Chacarero sandwich:
- Thinly Sliced Beef: The traditional protein used in a Chacarero sandwich is thinly sliced beef, such as sirloin or flank steak, or if you want to indulge yourself, ribeye is excellent. The meat can be marinated with spices like cumin, paprika, garlic, and salt before being grilled or pan-fried.
- Green Beans (Porotos Verdes): The green beans are typically blanched or steamed until tender-crisp. They add a fresh and crunchy element to the sandwich. In Chile, green beans are always French cut, so getting the right ones is essential if you buy frozen or need the right cutting tool. (Amazon affiliated link)
- Tomatoes: Slices of ripe tomatoes provide a juicy and slightly sweet contrast to the other ingredients.
- Chili Peppers: A crucial element of the Chacarero sandwich is yellow chili peppers (often referred to as “aji verde o ají cristal”). These peppers are typically thinly sliced and can vary in spiciness. They add a kick of heat to the sandwich. You can replace it with sweet banana peppers.
- Bread: Marraqueta is traditionally used for the Chacarero sandwich. You can replace it with crusty bread like ciabatta, brioche rolls, or Vietnamese baguettes.
- Mayonnaise: Many Chacarero sandwiches are spread with mayonnaise on the bread before assembling the ingredients, adding creaminess to the sandwich. There is some debate about using mayo or butter, so follow your instincts.
The Chilean Chacarero sandwich is known for its bold flavors, combining the chili peppers’ heat, the green beans’ crunch, and the beef’s savory goodness. It’s a unique and satisfying sandwich that is a must-try for anyone exploring Chilean cuisine.
You may also like the recipe: Chemilico sandwich.
- 2 brioche rolls
- 1 pound New York strip or ribeye
- 1 cup green beans
- 2 slices tomato
- 1 tablespoon butter
- mayonnaise, optional
- sweet banana pepper, optional
- Wash the green beans, cut the ends, and cut them lengthwise with a knife. Place them in a bowl and add a splash of water and sprinkle of salt. Cook in the microwave for 6 minutes, taste, and cook until tender but still crisp. In my microwave, they take 8 minutes. Or cook on a pot in salted boiling water, 3-5 minutes.
- Drain the green beans and cover with iced water to preserve the bright green color once cool. Drain and pat dry with paper towels and dress with salt and oil.
- Cut the steak into thin slices. Add salt and pepper to the meat.
- In a medium skillet over high heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil and cook the steak 1 minute per side.
- Cut the tomatoes into slices and season with salt.
- Cut and smear the bread with butter, place the meat, then tomatoes and peppers if using, and finally the green beans.
- Serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Sandwich
- Method: stove
- Cuisine: Chilean
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 444
- Sugar: 8.8 g
- Sodium: 495.9 mg
- Fat: 12.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 5.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 48.6 g
- Fiber: 3.3 g
- Protein: 32.1 g
- Cholesterol: 74.3 mg
Keywords: Chilean Chacarero sandwich