Marinated Portuguese Pork (Bifanas)

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The Portuguese people eat these pork sandwiches like we Americans eat burgers — anytime and anywhere. The Bifana is so popular, McDonald’s even launched the McBifana in Portugal. The Alentejo region is said to be where the bifana originated, in the town of Vendas Novas. Most locals will tell you that the best bifanas are from this area, and supposedly they are a cut above those made elsewhere. It is a perfect storm of flavors and textures coming together to sweep you up and take your taste buds to wanting more and more. This recipe is from the Alentejo region of Portugal.
Prep time: min
Cook time: min
Total time: min
Yield: 4 servings


  • Boneless pork, thinly sliced about a ¼ inch thick (8 slices)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Marinade:
  • 1 cup red port wine
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon Kocher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried crushed hot red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 bay leaves, broken in half


  1. Marinate pork for 12-24 hours.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Remove 4 cutlets from the marinade, add them to the heated skillet. Sauté until just beginning to brown on both sides, turning only once, about 1 ½ minutes per side. Do not overcook.
  4. Remove pork from skillet and transfer to a serving plate. Repeat this process with remaining 4 cutlets.
  5. Once all the cutlets are sautéed, add 1 cup of beef broth to the hot drippings in the pan. Stirring constantly, cook until mixture is thickened, about 45-60 seconds. Remove from heat.
  6. Drizzle the pan dripping over the cutlets.
  7. Assemble four beautiful bifana sandwiches. Two cutlets per sandwich.