Porto’s Magic Slab
The francesinha, or little French thing, is supposedly a signature dish of Porto, a city in northern Portugal famous for, well, Port. I’m not sure if this is true – it didn’t seem to be on the menu many places, and it definitely had a bit of a touristy look to it. But that doesn’t matter at all. Because there is one thing I am sure about when it comes to the francesinha: It is a magical meat lamp containing a crazy meat-loving genie who will grant all your wildest carnivorous dreams.
Ham, linguica (spicy portuguese sausage), regular sausage and steak are squished between two thick pieces of bread. Next, a huge slab of cheese is melted around the big brick. Then, the sandwich is served in a bowl. Why? Because it’s up to its waist in a thick beer and tomato sauce.
Safe to say, you have to eat this thing with a fork. And every bite contains a different array of meaty magic. On the one hand, you never know what combination of flavors you’re going to get. On the other hand, you could say it all has the same flavor: the flavor of awesome.
Definitely try this if you’re in Porto (it’s better than their other signature dish, tripe stew). But I think it might be just as good if made with American ingredients, and I’ve found one recipe that looks accurate:
Rub this baby at your own risk. You might not be able to handle what the magical meat genie has in store.