A Taste of Portugal: Bifana


Portugal: a haven of sun, sea and super food.

Many associate Portugal with golf and beaches, but it would be unfair to confine this country to the stereotype of a typical tourist destination. Portuguese cuisine is in fact a very underrated and not very well known as it is often dwarfed by its neighbour, Spain, and its world famous food.

Sampling a bifana is a cultural and culinary requirement when in Portugal (unless you are of the vegetarian orientation). Many believe the best bifanas can be found in Lisbon, the capital, but they can

Praia de Galé - Algarve, Portugal
Praia de Galé – Algarve, Portugal Photo Credit – Philip Brooks

be sampled almost everywhere, from roadside stations to restaurants on the beach.

It’s a European equivalent of a steak sandwich and can do wonders for post-lecture blues, hangovers, and if you can whip up a batch, your housemates will hail you as a culturally celestial being. So if this sounds good to you, take a look at the recipe…





  • 400g pork loin, skin removed and cut into 3mm slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp flaked salt
    Galé Beach Photo Credit – Philip Brooks
  • 2 tsp hot paprika
  • 2 tbsp piri-piri sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 brown onions, peeled, halved and thickly sliced
  • 4 soft white rolls, to serve


  1. Mix together the garlic, salt, 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 tablespoon of piri-piri sauce, vinegar, 1 cup of wine and the bay leaf in a lidded plastic container. Add the pork, mix well and marinate overnight.
  1. Heat two teaspoons of the oil, in a heavy frying pan over medium heat.
  1. Remove the pork from the marinade, drain and fry until each side is lightly browned, then set aside.
  1. Add a little oil to the pan when cooking each batch. When all the pork is cooked, deglaze the pan with the remaining cup of wine and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of paprika and 1 tablespoon of piri-piri sauce.
  1. Bring to a boil and reduce to a coating consistency, then return all the pork to the pan for a further minute, stirring well to coat in the sauce.
  1. In a separate frying pan, fry the onions in the remaining two tablespoons of oil until softened and caramelised.
  1. Serve the pork with the onions in soft white rolls (country bread makes for the best bifana) with extra piri-piri sauce.

And voilá! Enjoy your homemade bifana!

Recipe from: http://www.goodfood.com.au/good-food/cook/recipe/lisbonstyle-pork-bifana-20140813-3dmhm.html


Law student at the University of Southampton.

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