Francesinha is a Portuguese sandwich that originated in Porto, it is made out of ham, linguiça (pork sausage), fresh sausage, roast meat and covered served in bread topped with melted cheese and a hot thick sauce made out of tomato and beer. Sounds a lot, yes it is and original version of this sandwich is so filling. Francesinha was invented by Daniel da Silva during the 1960’s when he returned back to Portugal from France and Belgium, he got his inspiration from a French grilled ham and cheese sandwich called “croque-monsieur”. It is a very popular dish in Porto and in some places in Portugal where it is consumed before or after a game of football, usually served with chips which is also doused in sauce together with local type of draught beer called fino.
The signature element of this dish is not the bread or its meat but its sauce hence until now there is no set recipe for its sauce and kept secret by vendors and/or people who makes them. The only common ingredient is beer but apart from that it’s all guess work what goes into that boiling thick gravy. Like I said it’s a very filling sandwich, a very good comfort meal to have especially when you have one beer on your other hand.
- Thick cut sliced bread
- roast beef
- smoked ham
- grilled sausage (optional)
- quick melting cheese
- 1 330ml beer
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ¼ cup brandy
- ¼ cup milk
- 4 tsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- Place chicken stock and cornstarch in a saucepan, dissolve cornstarch.
- Place all other sauce ingredients in the sauce pan then cook in low heat. Stir occasionally and bring it to a boil, then simmer in very low heat until you are ready.
- Reheat the ham, roast beef and sausage.
- Assemble your sandwich filling it with ham, roast beef, sausage and cheese. Add cheese on top.
- Place it in a plate then grab your simmering sauce, pour it while hot over the top of the sandwich then serve.