• Chef Dylan

ARGENTINIAN STEAK BURGERS



Aromatic chargrilled steak and vegetables make these burgers the perfect choice for a quick and easy weekend lunch.

Now if there is one thing I know for sure is that Argentineans love their beef. I’ve used a rib eye in this recipe as I like the extra bit of fat that renders down on the BBQ and makes these burgers absolutely delicious. BBQ season is definitely upon us so why not use this recipe as an excuse to invite a few friends round, fire up the barbie and enjoy sharing these burgers with a few cold ones and some great company. This recipe is so easy to do I suggest everyone should give it a crack.


Did you know the cowboys of Argentina are called gauchos (or gaúchos) ? So who are they? There are few Argentinians as romanticised as the gaucho. Stereotypically they are rough and rugged, nomadic men. The gauchos were of Spanish and indigenous mixed heritage and collectively shun modern city living as they much prefer to pursue a more simple life in Argentina’s wild sprawling grasslands called the ‘pampas’. The gaucho first and foremost was a cowboy. Entrusted to muster the cattle from the vast plains through rugged mountains to market. An expert in horsemanship, a self sufficient outdoorsman and skilled hunter known for his generous yet unruly behaviour - indeed a historical outlaw.


The gauchos first began to emerge as a cultural phenomenon during the War of Independence against the Spanish colonisers. Argentine patriot forces were constantly skirmishing with the Spanish in the country’s rural areas, quite often they were outnumbered and outgunned, but somehow managed to pull off victories. Whilst using their impeccable horse riding skills and knowledge of the land to provide valuable support to the patriots most gaucho fought as scouts. They set up ambushes and gathered precious intel. These men played a pivotal role in the war, which came to an end in 1818, and it was around that time that the namesake and legend of the gaucho came to be. The motto of the gaucho is ‘Libidad y Union’ which translates as United we are free.


The first time I met a gaucho was in Buenos Aires. It’s late afternoon and the sun is low enough to create that magical golden light that makes every thing look more beautiful. I’m sitting on a wooden park bench in a busy street that has been closed off to traffic and now home to countless samba dancers who swirl, twirl and shake their hips to the rhythmic music that is being played by the band. There is a carnival atmosphere in the air, children are running around laughing and the parents nonchalantly chat to their friends whilst smoking cigarettes and sipping red wine from silver goblets. I’m excited as in an hour I have a reservation at a world class steak restaurant. I have been looking forward to this moment my entire trip.


I faintly hear a clip clop sound in the brief interval between a song, I think nothing of it but then suddenly I smell the distinct aroma of horse and as I turn around to my shock a horses head is right next to me! As I jolt back I hear a hearty laugh from its rider. “Don’t worry” he says in gruff Argentinian Spanish, I cast my eyes towards the sound and I instantly recognise his outfit. He is donned in a pair of bombachas (baggy trousers), a colourful poncho and a wide brimmed hat, an Argentinian gaucho in the flesh. Expertly tucked away under a belt, I see a facón (long knife), a leather whip and a lasso hanging neatly off his saddle. “Got a light”? he asks as he purses a thin hand rolled cigarette between his lips. “Actually I do” I say and in an instant he is off the horse like some kind of nimble gymnast and his hand is outstretched.


I faintly hear a clip clop sound in the brief interval between a song, I think nothing of it but then suddenly I smell the distinct aroma of horse and as I turn around to my shock a horses head is right next to me! As I jolt back I hear a hearty laugh from its rider. “Don’t worry” he says in gruff Argentinian Spanish, I cast my eyes towards the sound and I instantly recognise his outfit. He is donned in a pair of bombachas (baggy trousers), a colourful poncho and a wide brimmed hat, an Argentinian gaucho in the flesh. Expertly tucked away under a belt, I see a facón (long knife), a leather whip and a lasso hanging neatly off his saddle. “Got a light”? he asks as he purses a thin hand rolled cigarette between his lips. “Actually I do” I say and in an instant he is off the horse like some kind of nimble gymnast and his hand is outstretched.



PREP TIME: 25 mins

COOKING TIME: 10-12 mins

SERVINGS: 4


INGREDIENTS

  • 4 × 125g ribeye steak

  • 2 tbsps GAUCHO

  • 2 tbsps olive oil

  • 1 red onion

  • 1 red capsicum, de-seeded

  • 4 slices tasty cheese

  • 100g mixed lettuce

  • 8 slices of bread or 4 bread buns

  • butter for toast

METHOD

  1. Mix the GAUCHO with oil in a bowl.

  2. Add steaks and evenly coat both sides. Marinate for 20 minutes MAX.

  3. Peel and slice onion into 1 cm rings.

  4. Cut capsicum into four equal parts.

  5. Place onion and capsicum in a bowl and drizzle with a little oil to lightly coat. On high heat grill for 4 to 6 minutes each side.

  6. Then grill steak on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking and set aside to rest.

  7. Toast bread on grill for 30 seconds.

  8. Spread butter on toast and add lettuce, sliced cheese. Place caramalised onion rings, grilled capsicum, and ribeye steak on top to finish.


TO SERVE


Tuck into these mouthwatering burgers with a group of your best mates and a couple of cold ones at home in the backyard or rendezvous at your favourite BBQ spot.