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.

Ingredients (Sandwich)

Thick cut sliced bread
roast beef
smoked ham
grilled sausage (optional)
quick melting cheese

Ingredients (Sauce)

1 330ml beer
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup milk
4 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp butter, melted


1. Place chicken stock and cornstarch in a saucepan, dissolve cornstarch.
2. 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.
3. Reheat the ham, roast beef and sausage.
4. Assemble your sandwich filling it with ham, roast beef, sausage and cheese. Add cheese on top.
5. Place it in a plate then grab your simmering sauce, pour it while hot over the top of the sandwich then serve.

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18 thoughts on “Francesinha

  1. Definite foodporn alert and a remarkably good looking sandwich. I love the idea of the hot, runny sauce and that yeasty beer flavour which pulls it all together. I think you’ve started a trend here!

  2. For those who visit this post in search of the ultimate Francesinha places in Porto, I’d recommend Santiago or Capa Negra II. Francesinha is one of my favourite dishes.

  3. This looks great, I do not eat pork but I can substitute with turkey I believe. Thanks I love trying new traditional recipes from all over the world .

  4. So interesting this sandwich…it is so funny that I never heard of it back in Brazil…since Brazil was colonized by the Portuguese…looks awesome and very flavorful Raymund.
    Hope you are having a fun week :)

  5. What a very unusual sandwich. I’ve never seen a sandwich that has a beer sauce poured over it. It all looks delicious! I love the mix of meats used – perfect for that sauce! Thanks for introducing this sandwich.

  6. Oh my gosh that looks fabulous! I’ve never heard of this sandwich, loving the idea of the beer/brandy sauce to top it all off – definitely a knife and fork type sandwich.

  7. Pingback: Gratuitous Food Porn: The Best Messy AF Sandwiches for National Sandwich Month | FoodbeastFoodbeast

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