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francesinha portugal

The authentic recipe of the famous francesinha

During your stay in Portugal, but especially in Porto, you won't escape the "Francesinha", a typical dish from this city.
Francesinha is, in fact, a sandwich made up of two slices of toasted bread between which is inserted a beef steak, smoked and fresh sausages, and cheese slices. The sandwich is then covered on all sides with slices of cheese and placed in the oven until the cheese begins to melt.
Until then, nothing very different from a slightly elaborate "croque-monsieur", but what makes the difference is the sauce that goes with it made with tomatoes, beer, and chili.
In fact, there are different recipes from Francesinha. Some people replace beef with pork, others add an egg to the dish and the varieties of sausages or deli meats can vary.
★ The origins of Francesinha

As it is often the case, when a dish is successful, there are many stories about its origins. We have identified two of them.

Porto I PortugalThe first allocates the origin of Francesinha to Napoleonic troops who, when they invaded Northern Portugal, used to eat toast in which they put different types of meat and cheese. The special sauce would only have appeared later.

The second allocates the creation of the Francesinha to Daniel David Silva, a Portuguese immigrant who lived in France as a cook for a few years. When he returned to Porto, he worked at the restaurant "A Regaleira" where he adapted the recipe of the French Croque-Monsieur to Portuguese tastes by making this sandwich more hearty and adding the famous tomato, beer, and pepper sauce.

In any case, Francesinha is from Porto!



★ The success of Francesinha

Francesinha I Plat portugais de PortoThe Francesinha is a very easy and quick dish to prepare and it only uses cheap ingredients: pork meat, bread that can be of the previous days, simple cheese, tomatoes, beer... 
It is rather a snack than a main course and is served at tea time, after a movie screening or with a drink between friends.


★ The recipe for 4 Francesinhas

Ingrédients for the dressing

  • Light beer (about 1 litre)
  • Port wine (about 20 cl)
  • Tomato sauce or tomato pulp (about 50 g)
  • Piri-Piri
  • Olive oil, onions (2), garlic (2), bay leaf
  • Maizena to thicken the sauce

Ingrédients for the sandwich

  • 8 slices of thick sandwich bread
  • 4 thin veal, beef or pork steaks
  • 4 slices of ham
  • 1 smoked sausage
  • 1 fresh sausage
  • Cheese slices (enough to fill and cover sandwiches)
  • 4 eggs


Genuine Portuguese Piri-Piri




  1. Slice 2 onions and 2 cloves of garlic, put them in a saucepan.
  2. Add veal, beef or pork steaks.
  3. Add olive oil and bay leaves.
  4. Simmer until the meat is cooked.
  5. When the meat is cooked, remove it from the pan and save it for later use.
  6. Add the port wine, beer and tomato sauce to the pan
  7. Allow to reduce for one hour
  8. Remove the bay leaves and mix everything in a blender
  9. Add the cornflour if necessary to thicken the sauce
  10. Add the spicy or sweet Piri-Piri to suit your taste (which you can find in our shop)
  11. Leave the sauce thus prepared aside.
  12. Make sandwiches with sandwich bread, steaks, ham slices, fresh and smoked sausage cut into slices and a few slices of cheese.
  13. Cover each sandwich completely with the remaining cheese slices
  14. Place in oven to melt cheese while you prepare 4 fried eggs.
  15. Take the sandwiches out of the oven, place them in soup plates, cover them with the sauce and place an egg on each sandwich.

Serve with French fries (as is often the case in Porto) and a fresh Portuguese beer.

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