Steak sandwich with kick

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So…I’m on holiday for Christmas and New Year on a Celebrity Cruises trip around South America.
I’m on the Celebrity Infinity, with husband and kids, a beautiful ship with fantastic restaurants and – amongst the many drinking options – a MARTINI BAR!
Yup, it’s all looking very good. Thank heavens I was sensible enough to marry someone obsessed with collecting air miles and the only ones we could get this year were into Chile and out of Argentina so by pure luck we get the trip of a lifetime.
Anyway, we started in Santiago and are now heading down towards Puerto Mott – in the Chilean Lake District – so I thought it would be a great time to learn a bit about Chilean food and share it with you.
First new bit of knowledge… There’s a Chilean sauce, called pebre, that’s a bit like the Argentian chimichurri, but spicier, that Chilean people put on everything. It’s great with grilled fish, chicken or beef or stirred into soup or over warm boiled potatoes. It’s also an essential past of the Chilean sandwich known as a churrasco (second new thing…) which consists of a white bread roll filled with strips of steak, mashed avocado, pebre and sometimes mayonnaise.
So… You want to make this stuff because, frankly, I reckon that’s the best-sounding steak sandwich ever. Personally, I’d add a sliced tomato and possibly a sliced pickled cucumber because everything is better with a pickle, in my book.
And when I get home I’m going to try it with grilled chicken in it because I love a chicken sandwich. And I’m thinking up a Chilean – style slow-cooked lamb shoulder with pebre because I reckon that would be brilliant.
I’m hoping you’re feeling equally inspired – but first you need a recipe for pebre.
Every region in Chile has a slight variant so I’m sure this one is authentic somewhere – and it means if you haven’t got quite the right ingredients you can interchange elements. Some people use spring onions, for instance, and others white onion, but I’m using red. Some people mix the coriander with parsley, others just use coriander – I like the former (and I quite like to sneak in a few mint leaves). You need to add hot sauce and I particularly like sriracha in this – but Tabasco or Cholula are allowed too.
You’re supposed to chop everything by hand but I pulse a few times in a blender to make a not-too-smooth salsa – then it’s good to leave it covered in the fridge for a couple of hours to let everything become friendly and work together.

Pebre salsa

Makes a small bowlful


1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, quartered
3 garlic cloves, roughly smashed
1 large handful coriander, roughly torn
1 large handful parsley, roughly torn
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon hot chilli sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
50ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
50ml water

Place everything in a food processor and pulse to a coarse salsa. Alternatively, chop everything finely by hand, mix together the oil, vinegar and water, then stir the dressing into the other ingredients.

Now go spoon it over anything grilled, or anything at all, and make like you’re in Chile.

Steak sandwich with kick

Steak sandwich with kick

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