Portuguese Francesinha Sandwich

Considered by many the ultimate Portuguese comfort food. It originated in the north of Portugal, specifically the city of Porto. Bread, sausages, meat, ham, cheese, egg and a rich and meaty sauce are the main ingredients. All this accompanied by a bunch of french fries. Here’s how you make it!



2 slices of white, but not to soft, slices with approx. 2 cm/0.8 inches thickness.
1 linguiça
1 fresh sausage
1 small veal steak
2 slices of mild ham
7 to 8 thin slices of cheese
1 egg


6,6 dl beer (2 cans)
4 dl semi skimmed milk
1 dl whisky
2 dl tomato passata
1 bay leaf
1 medium carrot, peeled
1 small veal steak
2 cubes of meat stock
2 tsps corn starch dissolved in a bit of milk
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Piri Piri


Place all the ingredients for the sauce (except the corn starch and the piri piri) inside a heavy bottomed pan and take to the heat. Cook for aprox. 30 minutes in meddium heat. Season with salt and pepper and remove the carrot, bay leaf and steak.
Add the dissolved corn starch to the sauce a bit at a time, stir, let it come to a boil and if it’s still to liquid add a bit more. Don’t make a very thick sauce, it should fall from the wooden spoon in a constant thread, ending up in thick drops.
Remove from the heat and add the piri piri to taste.
Grill the meats.

On top of a slice of bread place first a slice of cheese, on top place a slice of ham, then the 4 pieces of linguiça, on top the steak, followed by the fresh sausage, another slice of ham and another slice of cheese, top with the other slice of bread and on top a slice of cheese. Place one slice of cheese in each side of the sandwich – You can hold the cheese with skewers and remove them once the cheese is melted, later – and place one more on top.
Put the sandwich inside a preheated oven for a couple of minutes just so the cheese starts to melt but let it toast. If you used skewers now is time to remove them.
Fry the egg in a bit of hot oil.
Remove from the oven. Put the fried egg on top of the sandwich and immediately pour the very hot sauce over it – you want the bottom of the sandwich immerse in sauce – and serve with fries and a cold, cold beer.

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