Francesinha (Super Indulgent Portuguese Sandwich)

"This looks very yummy but certainly not one for the diet! Apparently, it is the Portuguese take on the French croque-monsieur."
photo by Will R. photo by Will R.
photo by Will R.
Ready In:


  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 slices smoked ham
  • 4 slices cheese, something melty like a dutch cheese
  • 1 cooked sausage, sliced, something along the lines of chorizo
  • 1 slice roast beef
  • For the sauce Sauce

  • 1 beer
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons concentrated tomato paste
  • 14 cup brandy or 1/4 cup port wine
  • 14 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 bay leaf
  • chili flakes, to taste
  • salt, to taste


  • Make the sauce first by dissolving the cornstarch into the milk.
  • Add all the other sauce ingredients and blend in food processor.
  • Put it into a pan over low heat and add the bay leaf .
  • Stir it until it starts to boil, remove bay leaf and then set aside.
  • Assemble the sandwich saving 2 slices of cheese.
  • Put the sandwich on a plate or shallow bowl and place the 2 slices of cheese on top.
  • Pour the sauce over the sandwich (should be hot, so the cheese melts).
  • Eat -- you may want a bib.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Greetings from Portugal, this is truely a marvlous receipe, I make it often. My the kids just love it. We usually don't use roast beef, instead we use a very thin steaks, and pepperonie sausage, the rest of the receipe is the same. It is served with french-fries surrounded all the way around the plate, its very good, but very bad for the waist-line !! LOL LOL, but who cares!!!
  2. I lived in Portugal for five years, and the Francesinha was a favorite indulgence (although, as Sarah Jayne wrote, ?????? a diet food). The one thing that your recipe is missing— it should be served on a large plate, surrounded by french fries. At a fancier café, you may get some small bits of pickled vegetables (like Italian antepasto) at the cardinal points. It’s usually eaten with a draft beer (too endure your weight gain!).
  3. Really enjoyed this, thanks for the recipe! Hope my attempt looks OK :)
    • Review photo by Will R.
  4. I am not in the slightest impressed with this recipe. I followed the sauce recipe to the letter and found it very bitter, so bitter in fact, that it was inedible. A total waste of ingredients.


I am originally from the Philadelphia area of the United States but have been living in London, UK since 1996. I now have dual American and British citizenship. I became a widow at the age of 27 in 2004 but have managed to fall in love again and was married again on July 19, 2008. I have a double major honors degree in sociology and politics and am slowly working my way through a Masters. I am a wanabee writer but until that dream becomes a reality I work in internet marketing where I build websites for profit. So, it is nice to come to a site like this and just enjoy being on the internet rather than using it as a work environment. I am a BBW (big woman) but over the past two years I have lost over 80lbs and am working my way down the scales slowly but steadily. These days, I am trying to eat a lot less meat. So, I am trying to have as many vegetarian recipes in the week as I can manage. I have started a blog - <a href="">Weekend Carnivore</a> where I blog about trying to eat a mostly vegetarian diet. I share a lot of my discovered recipes there. If I make one of your vegetarian recipes and I managed to take a good photo of it, chances are I will blog about it and tell everybody how much I enjoyed it. These are banners and buttons from Zaar events in which I have participated: <img src=""> <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src=> <img src=> <img src="" border="0" alt="I am alw">
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