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Portuguese Recipe: Francesinha

Cooking 10 minutes Preparation 10 minutes 1 easy
Recipe type: Sandwich Cuisine: Portuguese

This Portuguese sandwich is the pinnacle of a meat lover’s food pyramid. Two slices of bread, untold layers of meat, melted cheese and a sometimes spicy beer infused sauce, there really isn’t anything better if you feel your cholesterol levels dropping. Which also means restricting yourself to one a week, or you might be making an early trip to the hospital with a deliciously clogged ticker! Although this sandwich is a bigger commitment than an 18 karat engagement right, don’t walk away until every last drop of sauce is soaked up with a pile of crispy fries. What’s inside you ask? If done right, the very best steak, ham, linguiça, hotdogs and more!!

That said, please don’t hesitate to come to Portugal and experience a Porto food tour or Lisbon food tour for yourself. We’d love to have you!



  • 2 slices of good bread
  • 2 linguiça, grilled and each cut into four pieces
  • 2 slices smoked ham
  • 3 slices of your favourite Portuguese cheese
  • ¼ inch thick grilled beef steak


  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 12 ounces beer
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup Port wine
  • 1 cube beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the corn starch in 2 tablespoons of the milk. Stir to make certain there are no lumps. Set aside
  2. In a sauce pan melt the butter on medium low heat. Add in the tomato paste and stir well. Pour in the rest of the milk, beer, Port, and add in the bay leaf and beef stock cube.  Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Turn off the heat and discard the bay leaf. Stir the corn starch and milk mixture again and add it to the sauce, stirring well. Set aside.
  4. Assemble the sandwich by placing a slice of cheese and one slice of bread on top of it on an oven safe dish. Lay another slice of cheese on the bread and then layer a slice of ham, four pieces of linguiça, steak, the last four pieces of linguiça and top it with the other slice of ham and a slice of cheese. Lay the other slice of bread on top and top with cheese. Secure the sandwich with toothpicks if you like.
  5. Pour the sauce on top of the sandwich and place the dish into the preheated oven and allow the cheese to melt, about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Remove the Francesinha from the oven and remove the tooth picks before serving.

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