Take a Bite of Portugal With This Sandwich

Francesinha. Image by homydesign/Depositphotos

There is a reason why the humble sandwich has lasted throughout the centuries. Simple, yet satisfying, it is a way to combine ingredients in an easy-to-eat, accessible way. The Portuguese took it up a notch with their own version, the Francesinha, which is a saucy celebration of meat and cheese. 



  • 3 slices white ​​bread
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 thin pieces of steak, tenderized
  • 3 slices of ham
  • 2 cured pork sausages linguica or chorizo
  • 8 slices of cheese
  • 1 egg 


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, crushed
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 bottle lager beer
  • ¾ cup wine
  • 1 tablespoon peri peri sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch 
  • Salt and black pepper


  1. Place a small saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop. Melt the butter and add the onion, garlic, and a little salt.
  2. Cook until the onion is translucent and begins to brown. Immediately, add the crushed tomato and the peri peri sauce.
  3. When the tomato is well cooked, add the beer, wine, and broth. Continue cooking uncovered for about ten more minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in a quarter cup of water and add it to the sauce. Cook for about five more minutes, stirring, until the sauce thickens.
  4. Strain or blend the sauce, then return it to the hot pot and set aside.
  5. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and once hot, cook the steak for three minutes on each side. Make sure it browns a little.
  6. Cut the sausages in half, lengthwise, and cook for three minutes on each side. 
  7. Toast the slices of sliced ​​bread and place one slice of ​​bread on a plate. Top it with the sliced ham.
  8. Place the steak on top of the ham. Trim the edges of any protruding pieces of meat.
  9. Cover with another slice of ​​bread and top with the sausages.
  10. Finally, cover with another slice of ​​bread and the 6 slices of cheese.
  11. Make a notch in the cheese at the top of the sandwich. Crack open an egg and place it in the opening.
  12. Preheat the oven to the broiler and place the sandwich quite close to the top. Bake for about 3 minutes, checking regularly to make sure the cheese has only melted and not turned brown.
  13. Transfer the sandwich to a plate and cover entirely with sauce. It is also customary to serve with French fries.