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Bifana Delicata: A Portuguese Sandwich Culinary Delight

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Serves 4 | Prep Time 30 | Cook Time 20

Why I Love This Recipe

The bifana, a beloved Portuguese sandwich, has its roots in the resourcefulness of 19th-century Alentejo region shepherds, who would grill marinated pork over open fires during their long days tending to their flocks. Today, this humble dish has become a national treasure, celebrated for its rich flavors and comforting simplicity.

Ingredients You'll Need

1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine, divided
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers (1 red, 1 green), thinly sliced
4 Portuguese rolls or small French rolls, split lengthwise
2 tbsp butter, softened


In a shallow dish, combine the pork tenderloin slices with 1/4 cup of the white wine, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, oregano, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat the pork evenly and let marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, covered and refrigerated.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and bell peppers, and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and lightly caramelized.

Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside. Add the marinated pork and the remaining 1/4 cup of white wine to the same skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the pork is cooked through and the liquid has reduced to a thick, flavorful sauce, about 5-7 minutes.

Return the sautéed vegetables to the skillet and toss everything together to combine the flavors.

Spread the softened butter on the cut sides of the rolls. Toast or grill the rolls until lightly golden brown and crispy.

To serve, spoon the pork and vegetable mixture onto the toasted roll bottoms, and top with the roll tops. Serve hot and enjoy!

Pairs Well With

A crisp, chilled Portuguese vinho verde or a refreshing sangria to complement the bold flavors.

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