back to article Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The fantastical Francesinha

Legend has it that in the 1960s, one Daniel da Silva returned to his native Portugal following a stint in France and Belgium, with a vision of adapting the classic grilled ham and cheese croque-monsieur for local palates. The result was the Francesinha ("Frenchie"), an example of what happens when you take a simple sarnie, …

  1. elDog

    A worthy addition to the Atkins diet?

    Maybe leave off the bread (carbs, you know...)

  2. Hollerith 1

    I bow to the master

    Coming from the land of Poutine, I thought I could look any heart-attack-inducing cuisine in the eye with pride, but recently I saw a macaroni-and-cheese-stuffed glazed doughnut from the USA and now this -- THIS -- from Portugal. Portugal wins, because the Frenchie, unlike the mac-and-cheese doughnut, looks awesomely delicious.

    1. iniudan

      Re: I bow to the master

      Hey, don't forgot we have the fois gras poutine. Only way I can think of making it more greasy is to add oreilles de crisse or simply replace the fries with them.

      1. Bloakey1

        Re: I bow to the master

        I will raise you rillettes de porc! In the eighties we used to get that in our French Army ration packs along with a packet of Gauloise, a bottle of eau de vie and a side order consisting of one liter of wine.

        I live in Portugal and they do have good hearty fare up North, if you had wandered down South you could have ditched the jackets and eaten something lighter with a hint of Arab in it.

        1. Dom 3

          Re: I bow to the master

          Portgual now, eh?

          I trust that you are still a miscreant at heart.

      2. Hollerith 1

        Re: I bow to the master

        Who could forget? All the proof you need that There Is A God.

    2. Montreal Sean

      Re: I bow to the master

      La Belle Pro chicken poutine with a cold can of Coke* may just have to be put on the back burner for a while so I can try this killer.

      * though my family has been in Quebec for at least a couple of centuries, I'm an Anglo so no Poutine and Pepsi for me. :)

  3. EddieD


    I could feel my arteries hardening, just by reading that article.

    Gotta try it :)

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Good $DEITY Almighty!

    A heart attack on every plate!

    (which is not to say that I wouldn't give it a go...)

  5. Zog_but_not_the_first

    A fried egg on top...

    And no Spam?

  6. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I Protest!

    Look, guys, right at the start of this gastro-fest I offered to selflessly act as an unbiased tester. So far I have not had even a sniff of any of these delights. This one looks especially yummy, yet here I sit empty handed and rumbly stomached.

    This simply will not do!

    1. Chris 244

      Quit your moaning

      STFU, RTFA then fix one yourself you lazy whining putz.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: RTFA

        It's the young ones. Today, they want to get paid to get fed, then give people a hard time by driving around on mall scooters ...

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

          Re: RTFA

          @ D.O.M.

          Thanks for that (and the beer) really made my day. It's been {mmfty}{mmmf} years since anyone called me a 'young one'.

          Also, you never know if it's possible to get a free lunch if you don't at least make the attempt.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: RTFA

            Much obliged, my good fellow!

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    One of those under the X-Mas tree?

    Hell yeah. Better put a few old newspapers around it first to contain the grease runoff.


    local brews Sagres or Super Bock are the only true path to Francesinha nirvana

    STAY THE HELL AWAY. If need be, import acceptable stuff from Belgium or Germany.

    1. Puzzeled European

      Re: One of those under the X-Mas tree?

      I dont agree with you, Sagres and Super Bock are quite ok, and let me tell you I've lived in Belgium, so I know about this stuff.

      As for "Francesinhas" I stay away from it as much as I can, you can ear your arteries crying just by looking at the stuff.

  8. Mark 85

    Curse or Blessing?

    I've had to change my Saturday habit. Now I read the Post-Pub-Nosh when I arise and have coffee. Run to the local store for ingredients. Spend time following the recipe... then Heaven!

    It's a curse that I have to get up early but worth the wait and the resulting Nosh is the blessing.

  9. Eddy Ito

    Tabasco? Chilli powder? You do know you could save yourself a bit of trouble and simply swap the linguiça for some nice Goan chouriço if it's available. If you're near New England, Emeril's home town of Fall River is a source of some rather nice hot chouriço which is quite fit for purpose. On a side note there's also a little shop to get pork pies while you're in the neighborhood, if you get there early enough of course.

  10. Elmer Phud


    "Special Projects Bureau boffin"

    Why no pipe?

    Can't have boffins without pipes.

    1. Robert Helpmann??

      Re: Boffin?

      Can't have boffins without pipes.

      Or proper protective equipment which here ought to consist of a full body bib.

      1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        Re: Bib?


  11. Tim Worstal

    It is indeed excellent

    Although my major complaint about Worstall Towers being in the Algarve is that this is very much a Northern Portugal dish. Rare to see it in the south.

    On the other hand, the original home of Nando's style peri peri (Nando's is Mozambiquan Portuguese as filtered through South Africa) is "estilho da Guia" and is frango piri piri here. And Guia is 10 clicks from said W Towers.

    And there's also the "bitoque". Standard "snack" meal all over the country. Minute steak, fried egg, chips, rice and salad. € 5, maybe 6 in a place that insists that it really is beef. The Portuguese do tend to insist that calories are a very important part of a meal.

    1. Bloakey1

      Re: It is indeed excellent

      I say old chap. You seem to have forgotten to extol the wonders of the Bifana, up in the hills above Villamoura we eat them all the time.

      Currently typing this as the temperature on my veranda hits 40.0 C.

      1. Tim Worstal

        Re: It is indeed excellent

        Bifanas are good.....but they're not exactly stodge, are they?

        Hills behind Vilamoura.....Loule way? Bit further over for us, Messines.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Tim Worstal

            Re: It is indeed excellent

            Grr....I'm working in Bohemia at present where it really isn't quite that warm. No doubt it will cool down around Messines nicely for my next trip home in a couple of weeks.

            1. Bloakey1

              Re: It is indeed excellent

              "Grr....I'm working in Bohemia at present where it really isn't quite that warm. No doubt it will cool down around Messines nicely for my next trip home in a couple of weeks."

              Summer was not brilliant so I think we might have a nice winter which you will catch. I am off to London and then ISIS territory tomorrow. Not looking forward to London at all.

              Have a good one and hopefully Iceland will have some stock left when you get here !!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Come, Friendly Bombs...

      The worst thing about Worstal Towers being in the Algarve is that once you UKIP guys get elected and the UK leaves the EU, the Portuguese will send you home and you'll have to relocate to Slough. (^_^)

  12. jake Silver badge

    Looks mushy/soggy.

    That's not good eats ... unless you have no teeth.

  13. Scroticus Canis

    Looks like it's still missing something

    A layer of fried black pudding and caramelised onions added to tier two would probably sort it.

    1. Tim Worstal

      Re: Looks like it's still missing something

      Caramelised *red* onions sounds like a remarkably good idea.

  14. WalterAlter

    Wonder Bread is so trailer trash

    Francesinha Romana- substitute focaccia for the Wonder Bread, dust the works with ground fennel and parmesan, put some Pavarotti on the stereo, throw a log on the fire, nestle in with a copy of "Understanding media" by Marshal McLuhan to feed your head, as well as your face.

  15. Yesnomaybe

    Oh you bastards...

    Jayyysus, I'm STARVING!!!

  16. Bassey

    Your Roots man, don't loose sight of your roots

    Whilst that looks simply awe inspiring I can't help feeling you have lost sight of the original experiment. We're looking for Post-Pub nosh here. Anything that requires a list of ingredients, specialist shopping trips, 40+ minutes of cooking time and a sauce that needs straining just doesn't qualify. In a Post-Pub scenario you would have fallen asleep and set the whole house on fire long before you began the process of building the layers. And, frankly, if you have the co-ordination, post-pub, to strain a sauce, then you're simply not trying hard enough.

    Post Pub should be limited to a MAXIMUM 6 ingredients and the only sauce required should come from a bottle. That's the beauty of the bacon sarnie - it's simplicity!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Your Roots man, don't loose sight of your roots

      I get the impression that this is "post pub" in the sense that it's the sort of thing you'd buy from a fast food / takeaway place while staggering home- a la doner kebab. They, of course, will have made large quantities of the sauce in advance.

      You *could* make it yourself, but you probably wouldn't bother doing it as a one-off most of the time; certainly not when one was ratarsed, as you suggest.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Your Roots man, don't loose sight of your roots

        So make it before you go out.

        These aren't just post-pub nosh suggestions but also serve as hangover cures. Some people take preventitive measures such as drinking a litre of water before imbibing the golden nectar others chose to tackle the affects afterwards, hence "post-pub".

  17. OliverTWood

    But where are the chips?

    That looks good. My experience is that the degree of goodness boils down to

    1) the quality of beef;

    2) the quality and quantity of sauce.

    The cheese is incidental it seems. I've heard of many variations on the sauce, but largely the recipe is a closely-guarded secret. Whiskey crops up often. Jars of ready-made can be got at Portuguese stores, but they aren't great. Anyway, there should be so much sauce that you can't say no to mopping it up with hand-cut french fries. Wash it down with a massive ceramic mug of red vinho verde, and keep your diary clear for the afternoon.

    Bom apetite

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We need more cook-books written like this

    'Throw on the egg and douse with sauce'. This is how it should be done.

  19. F0rdPrefect

    Why base it on French/Belgian version of something they already had?

    "Legend has it that in the 1960s, one Daniel da Silva returned to his native Portugal following a stint in France and Belgium, with a vision of adapting the classic grilled ham and cheese croque-monsieur for local palates."

    Rather than basing his creation on tosta mista (mixed toast) that has been around in Portugal since at least the 40s according to my Portuguese uncle .

  20. Joerg

    Eat 1 to 3 per week and you are dead quickly...

    This dish is the quickest way to get an heart attack whatever your age is...

    Even 1 per month would be too much. Saturated fat in this thing will take more than a week of work to the human body to dispose of and still the arteries will surely be affected in a very bad way.

    1. Mark 85

      Re: Eat 1 to 3 per week and you are dead quickly...

      But it's yummy!!! I'm old and in IT. Other than a beer and nosh what else is there?

    2. PapaD

      Re: Eat 1 to 3 per week and you are dead quickly...

      Hasn't recent scientific/dietary research shown us that saturated fat doesn't cause cholesterol - whilst the high calorific content of this piece of awesomeness may slow you down for the remainder of the day, and require significant effort to burn off, your arteries should be fine

      So eat on I say, besides, why live long if you deny yourselves the pleasures of life - surely a shorter, more hedonistic life is preferential to a longer monastic one

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why the carrot?

    Seems far too healthy.

    1. Cubical Drone

      Re: Err...

      The carrot and the onion are sauteed as a modified mirepoix (celery is usually used in the combination). Mirepoixs are commonly used as part of the base of sauces or soups, adds a really good flavor.

  22. Rhiakath Flanders

    You've missed the point...

    You can't just skip the fries.. You just can't. Usually, that plate is stock full with fries around the francesinha, and with enough sauce to fill it to the top, making the fries soak it all up :D

    Usually, the linguiça and/or chouriço are slightly grilled, and that whole thing ( without the sauce, of course ) goes inside a press toaster, to make it all "get together" as a whole".

    Of course, you've earned the wrath of the gods by using spain's excuse for beer, and you're no longer eligible to cook your own francesinha in this country, but it's ok... ;)

    And, of course, there's beer in the sauce, and there MUST be a beer in your hand...

    If you really want to try something that gets that pub crawl away from your mind, try some feijoada. Or cozido. I promise you'll never want to eat anything else ( for the rest of the day ).

    It's not even 10 AM, and you've made me hungry... Where can i get a decent francesinha around here... hmmm... Oh. 50 meters away... Right :D

  23. TheRealRoland


    I did drink the whiskey; but still don't have port. Try more whiskey?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Had these in Porto. Absolute cardiac arrest special

    But Tabasco?!? How could you insult the Portuguese by advocating American muck. Portuguese shops are full of a wonderful selection of piri piri sauces made with African bird's eye chili, not the nonsense jalapeno or poblano's suggested by Emeril Lagasse. When I went around Mozambique every place selling food had home made piri piri, similarly, Portuguese vegetable shops in Johannesburg (sadly disappearing) frequently sell bottles of home made piri piri. Part of the pleasure (and danger) of piri piri is trying these home made concoctions, And it's also best to skip the baby food and ask for forte piri piri

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Porto its more than the Francesinha :)

    Look for Guedes's "sandes de pernil" (sandwich made of pork leg roasted for hours) and/or Gazela's "cachorrinhos" (little spicy hotdogs

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