Living in a heavily Portuguese part of Rhode Island, you quickly get to know the local delicacies: papo seco, pasteis de nata, chourico–they’re all delicious. Another famous Portuguese-American creation is the bifana sandwich, a messy but delectable sandwich of thinly sliced lean pork simmered in an aromatic wine or beer-based sauce, and served on a papo seco roll. My version takes the basic premise and adds a smear of Mozambique Mayo (see my chourico turkey burger recipe), a drizzle of zesty chimichurri, and caramelized onions. I serve it on a warm Portuguese sweet roll, but any soft roll will do.  


For the pork:

1 pound pork loin, sliced into very thin rounds (1/8 inch)

1 cup light beer

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp Portuguese pepper puree

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

1 Tbsp lemon juice

For the chimichurri: 

1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

For serving:

Mozambique mayonnaise 

Caramelized onions

Portuguese sweet bread rolls or your favorite bread rolls


  1. First, mix all marinade ingredients together and let pork marinade for at least 30 minutes.

  1. To make the chimichurri sauce, combine all ingredients together and taste for seasoning. Set aside.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Remove pork from marinade (reserve marinade) and cook for about 3-4 minutes, flipping to brown both sides.

  3. Pour marinade on pork and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat for about 5-8 minutes, until marinade has reduced by 1/4. Cover and remove from heat.

  4. To serve, toast rolls and spread with a layer of Mozambique mayonnaise and caramelized onions. Top with pork and sauce, then drizzle on a heaping spoonful of chimichurri sauce. Serve immediately.

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