The Prego no Pão is a simple and delicious Portuguese steak sandwich, available in almost every snack-bar across the country. Like, every Portuguese recipe we have shared so far, they are also associated with a specific town, in this case, Sintra! The prego, like a bifana is a simple sandwich, consisting of a soft white roll filled with fried meat. In this case it’s a thin slice of beefsteak with lots of fried garlic. It’s not heavily marinated, or particularly saucey, and is usually served with a yellow mustard. Quite popular is to have it com ovo, that’s served topped with a fried egg.
Prego no Pão actually has two origin stories. The first is that the sandwich is named after Manuel Dias Prego. A resident of Praia das Maçãs, Sintra, and owner of a local business where he would sell roasted or grilled meat sandwiches and wine. His sandwiches became very popular and by the beginning of the 20th century the word Prego was already in popular use. Another explanation for the name of this sandwich is a bit more literal. Prego is the Portuguese word for nail. It’s believed that the sandwich is named after the process of nailing garlic into the meat with a mallet. Ensuring it has plenty of garlic, and that the steak is thin and tender. Both meanings are used quite often!
How to Make a Prego no Pão at Home
For this recipe we used sirloin steaks, but you can use any steak of your preference. We also crushed the garlic directly on top of the meat. However, if you prefer a more subtle garlic flavour, you can add the whole clove to the olive oil and butter before frying your steak.
- 2 white bread rolls
- 2 beef steaks
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Yellow mustard
- Salt and black pepper
- Gently pound the steak to tenderize it (if you don’t have a tenderizer, a rolling pin works well).
- Roughly chop the garlic, then place it on top of the meat. Gently pound it again, crushing the garlic into the meat. Season it with salt and black pepper.
- Place a medium frying pan over high heat. Once hot, add the butter, olive oil and a bay leaf.
- Fry the meat. If using a thin steak, you should need less than 2 minutes on each side.
- Remove the steak from the frying pan, reduce the heat to medium.
- Cut the bread in half and quickly toast it on the same frying pan you used for the steak.
- Spread a good amount of mustard over the bread, place your steak on top. Savour it with your favourite beer!
With this great recipe you should be able to have your very own Prego no Pão in your own home. If you’re hungry for more, we have some other recipes for delicious Portuguese sandwiches like the Bifana and the impressive Francesinha! Let us know in the comments what your favourite sandwiches from Portugal are!
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