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Chacarero-Burger (Chilean-style Farmers’ Burger with Salsa Verde, Avocado Crema and Green Beans)

This past winter, my husband, a Chilean, and I traveled from the capital, Santiago, to the south of Chile, visiting many small towns he had known from his boyhood summers. At each stop, I sampled the local Chacarero, a hearty sandwich named for the numerous artisanal farms, called chacras, and their bounty of farm-raised meats, avocados, and the other luscious fruits and vegetables of which the small farmers of Chile are so proud. I was hooked! And so I translated my favorite flavor combinations of this ubiquitous Chilean sandwich into a burger, which reminds us of our terrific trip!



2 pounds (80/20) ground beef, grass-fed and organic, if possible
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon

Salsa Verde

1 Anaheim chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
3 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Avocado Crema

2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 cups fresh green beans, ends snipped
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 bulkie rolls, split
6 large vine-ripened tomato slices


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the patties, lightly break up the ground beef over the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish, and sprinkle evenly with salt. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic and wine, and stir to blend. Leave mixture for a minute for flavors to meld, then, sprinkle the mixture evenly over the ground beef. Mix lightly with a fork, with an ‘in-and-out’ motion. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions, and handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, form into patties, making a slight indentation in the center of each patty for even cooking. Cover lightly and keep cool until ready to grill.

To make the salsa verde, in a small bowl, combine the pepper, onion, olive oil, vinegar, salt and cilantro, and stir well. Set aside.

To make the avocado crema, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash with a fork until well blended. Place an avocado pit into the crema, cover and keep cool until ready to assemble the burgers.

Cook the beans on the grill in a small fireproof pan of boiling water until crisp tender, about three minutes, to retain a bit of crunch for. Drain beans and set on ice to cool quickly and retain texture, then, slice the beans thinly from end to end - French style. Set side.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook turning once until done to preference, 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium, and remove the patties from the grill. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread the cut sides of the roll bottoms and tops with the salsa verde. Next, spread a generous portion of avocado crema to each roll bottom, topping each with a patty, a slice of tomato, and a portion of the green beans. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes six burgers.


Surprising to most who visit, Chilean food tends not to be as hot and spicy as other Latin cuisines, but more European-based, with its immigrants having come from Spain and other European countries, which then married with its native Indian populations. In the country, Cabernet Sauvignon is generally the wine offered with its hearty meat sandwiches and foods, in which the peppers add more flavor than heat, and so, not adversely affected by this rich wine. Thus, I have also suggested it for my Chacarero-Burger.