Francesinha
=========== 2019-06-20


Comment: Specialty of the city of Porto, Francesinha means the little French. It would be the Portuguese version of the croque monsieur that one finds in France. The Portuguese version constitutes rather a whole meal than a snack like the croque monsieur. It seems that the recipe is relatively free as long as a number of basic elements are included. La Francesinha is served with generous ladles of sauce and fries. The basic elements are cheese, meat Pork (ham, or bacon), steak (veal or beef), sausage meat (bratwurst type), and linguiça, a  smoked sausage certainly not found outside Portugal, but you can substitute another kind of smoked sausage.
One variation is to use bacon instead of ham. See for example: Francesinha (Portuguese Sandwich) In this case, I suggest to scrap the fat off the bacon to have only the meat, once cooked in the sauce. Note that the slice of bacon by sandwich is relatively thin at the end.

A for the sausages, once cooked, they are split lengthwise to lay flat on the sandwich.
It may even be a good idea to open them before cooking so they cook faster. As for the cheese, if it is very soft, do not take it out of the fridge too soon.

It is also recommended to add a pan fried egg on the sandwich before serving.


Ingredients: (for 1 sandwich)
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2 slices toast bread toasted
7 slices of cheese (edam or portuguese cheese) thick enough
1 small steak (veal or beef, thin, bread sized)
1 nice thick slice of ham, (or of bacon, prepared according to comment above)
Sections of sausage cut to the size of the bread slice
In the absence of linguiça, use another smoked sausage (eg smoked schüblig)
1 egg


Ingredients for the sauce: (for 6 to 8 sandwiches)
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1 small glass of port
1 schlook of cognac (or whiskey)
5 dl of beer (Lager, for example super bock)
1 glass of dry white wine
1 nice rind of bacon if no bacon is used
200 ml beef broth
400 ml tomato sauce
2 small onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic in small slices
2 bay leaves
1 small pepper, chopped (opt)
A few sprigs of parsley (more than 2)
1 tablespoon Worcesterhire sauce
1 heap tablespoon of corn starch
Salt pepper

Preparation of the sauce:
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Sauté the onions in a little EVOO, then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes. Grilling the bacon in the same pan if used for ~5 to 7 minutes.
Add all liquids except tomato sauce and cognac (or whiskey) and cook without lid for a few minutes. Add Tomato sauce, and spices (laurel, chilli, parsley), salt and pepper.

Simmer covered for 1h.

Remove the bacon and herbs from the sauce, pour the cognac into which the corn starch has been diluted.

Boil briefly to thicken and use a plunger mixer to obtain a homogeneous sauce.


Preparation of the sandwich:
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Grill the sausage or sausages, grill the steak with a little salt.

On a plate, place a first slice of toast, Then 1 slice of cheese, then the steak.
Then the sausages, then the ham or the bacon, another slice of cheese, then the other slice of toast.

Place a slice of cheese on each side of the sandwich so that Partially on top of the sandwich but it completely hides the side. Finally place a last slice of cheese on top to close the whole thing.

Bake at 140C (280F) for 5 to 8 minutes (just to melt the cheese).
Meanwhile, fry an egg.
Remove the sandwhich from the oven, pour a (very) generous portion of sauce over and around the sandwich, place the egg over the sandwich and serve with fries.