Portuguese Francesinha Sandwich: The Ultimate Portuguese Comfort Food
Portuguese Francesinha sandwich comes from the north part of Portugal, specifically the city Porto. Don’t assume that francesinhas are a simple and light sandwich you eat when you have a little void space in your tummy. This dish is HEAVY. I mean, eat it when you are starving and have plenty room for this monstrosity.
Bread, sausages, meat, ham, cheese, egg and a rich and meaty sauce. All this accompanied by a bunch of french fries. That’s what I call a complete meal!
You can eat francesinhas in almost any local restaurant in Portugal. They are the star dish in any cold winter night in Lisbon.
The key ingredient is the sauce. Every Portuguese restaurant claims to have “O melhor molho de francesinhas” (the best francesinha’s sauce), the truth is that … I have the best sauce recipe 🙂
The principal ingredients of this sauce are the beef broth, the beer, and the port wine. The port wineis what makes the sauce shine. This sweet wine is the pride of Portugal. It’s one of the finest wines that you can taste. It’s a dessert wine and it has a fruity and sweet taste. Just Delicious.
You can use any kind of sliced bread, although you should try to pick a bread with wide slices. The sausage has to be a Linguiça if you want a 100% Portuguese flavor. In case you cannot find this kind of Portuguese sausage in your supermarket international section, you can use any kind of smokey and slightly spicy sausage.
I hope that you enjoy this hearty Portuguese comfort food.
Be aware that I didn’t include the egg on this recipe because I felt like it was too much for me. If you want the complete experience, you should simply fry an egg and put int on top of the francesinha. You should leave the yolk soft.
And as dessert a Portuguese custard tart (Pasteis de nata). 100% Portuguese culinary experience!
- 8 slices of bread
- 4 slices of ham
- 8 slices of cheese
- 150 gr beef meat
- 4-6 linguiças (Portuguese sausage)
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- 1 large blonde beer
- 2 tbsp port wine
- ½ cup beef broth
- 1 tbsp salted butter
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 garlic minced
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp piripiri (Portuguese chili)
In a big saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the garlic and the onions. Cook them until golden.
Pour the beer and simmer until the alcohol evaporates ( 5 minutes)
Pour the beef broth, the port wine, the Piri Piri (chili) and the butter to give shine to the sauce. Add the cornstarch slowly avoiding lumps. Simmer for a couple of minutes until the sauce is thick like in the pictures.
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F)
Cook the beef chopped in small strings. Season with salt and black pepper.
Cook the linguiças sliced in half lengthwise.
Take 4 slices of bread for each Francesinha. Cut the center of two slices to make room for the filling. The other two will be the bottom and top of the francesinhas.
Fill the bread with the sausages, the beef and the ham roughly chopped. Cover the francesinhas with the cheese and melt in the oven for 5 minutes.
Cover with the sauce and serve with french fries.