Bifanas (Tender Pork Cutlets)

Bifanas are thin, tender slices of pork that are traditionally served on Portuguese bread as a sandwich and accompanied by their light cooking broth, similar to an au jus for dipping.  For full flavor and tenderness, make sure you have time to marinate the pork for several hours.

  • 1lb. Pork, thinly sliced (If possible, either DIY or ask your butcher to slice it as thin as ham)
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 Pimenta Malagueta*, chopped
  • 6 Dashes Piri Piri* sauce
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup white wine (My mother in-law uses Vinho Verde, which is a “green” or young wine that is usually effervescent)
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 12-oz. Beer (Try a Portuguese lager, such as Super Bock)

In a bowl, mix the garlic, malagueta, piri piri, pepper, bay leaves, and wine.  Add pork, cover, and refrigerate for several hours.

Heat olive oil in a pan on medium.  Remove pork from marinade, pat dry, and sprinkle with salt.  Sear in hot pan on both sides.  Add marinade liquid, lemon, and beer to pan.  Bring to a boil, reduce to medium-low heat, and simmer until sauce reduces, about a half hour.

Serve atop slices of Portuguese bread and dip into the au jus.

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