Being born and raised in a Portuguese household, this Bifana de Porco/Portuguese Pork Cutlet Sandwich was often made in our home growing up. Both mom and grandma would make this, however the recipe I’m sharing with you today is my mother’s.
This sandwich tends to be a hit for it’s delicious blend of flavours — the onions, mushrooms and sweet peppers compliment the meat perfectly, creating a really nice balance. What we also did in our home was add our favourite hot sauce into the blend as we assembled the sandwich, and this would always really take the flavour up a notch.
If you’re looking for a new sandwich recipe, I encourage you to give this one I try. I doubt that you will be disappointed. Of course, you can also try making this sandwich with a meat of your choice, if you prefer not to use the pork cutlet.
The key to any sandwich, for me, is the bread. This sandwich was always made with a Portuguese bun, or Papo Seco, as it is called in Portuguese. I have always loved these delicious buns, perfectly crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft in the inside, YUM! So of course, my first recommendation to you would be that you try to find these delicious gems and use them when making this sandwich, however if this is impossible, use the bread of your choice.
Another integral part of this recipe, is the marinating of the meat. This step is so important because a well marinated meat adds tons of flavour to the sandwich. My mother uses Portuguese sweet pimento paste (again, I urge you to try and find this for this recipe, it’s wonderful here), a bit of paprika (use this to your taste), garlic, a bit of red wine, and of course salt and freshly ground black pepper. All these ingredients really combine together well and pack a punch of flavour. You want to be sure to marinate your meat for at least 2-3 hours, nothing less! It’s even better to marinate the pork overnight, if this is possible.
For this recipe, the mushrooms, onions and sweet pepper are fried separately. The reason for this is because each vegetable takes a different amount of time to cook, and it just proved easier to cook one at a time. For us, this is an easier way to do it and leads to veggies that are cooked perfectly to our preference. Once all the veggies are cooked, we mix them altogether, to be placed into the sandwich. Having said this, it is really up to you how you go about cooking your veggies. They will all end up mixed together in the end anyway!
You will notice in the recipe, we have used different types of sweet pepper. Again, this is all to your taste preferences. Feel free to switch it up the way you choose. If you like all yellow sweet pepper, then use that, or use all red, etc, etc.
One final note, if you find that after frying your veggies, you are left with a bit of excess oil, have the veggies sit in a colander for a bit, until the excess oil has dripped away. This is all done to your liking.
I really hope you enjoy this Bifana de Porco Sandwich! It’s so easy to make and so delicious. This recipe makes 2 sandwiches.
- 4 pork cutlets
- ¼ large Spanish onion, sliced
- 1 red sweet bell pepper, cut in strips*
- ½ yellow sweet pepper, cut in strips
- ½ orange sweet pepper, cut in strips
- 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Portuguese buns (papo secos)
- Extra virgin olive oil for frying, as needed
- For the Marinade:
- 10 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 cup red wine
- 4 tablespoons Portuguese sweet pimento paste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Paprika, to taste (to coat each side of cutlets)
- Kosher salt, also to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- To Prepare the Marinade: Salt and pepper both sides of cutlets. Add paprika to both sides (to your taste). Grate garlic cloves over cutlets and drizzle them with some extra virgin olive oil. Coat both sides of cutlets with sweet pimento paste. Add wine and ensure cutlets are coated well. Marinate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight.
- To Prepare the Sandwich: Using olive oil, fry mushrooms, onions and sweet peppers separately until they are tender and cooked to your liking.** Once fried, mix together mushrooms, onions and sweet peppers.
- Using olive oil, fry cutlets, flipping until each side is golden brown.
- Assemble sandwich, layering your vegetables underneath and above your cutlet. Add your favourite hot sauce as you go.
**Feel free to fry all vegetables together. They are fried separately here because each take different lengths of time to cook and this method allows each to be cooked to your preference.
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