Bifana is a classic Portuguese sandwich that employs few ingredients but makes for an exquisite dish.
It consists of a seasoned, lightly pounded, sliced or whole pork steaks that are simmered in garlicky sauce, and then placed inside a bread roll. The variations on this classic can slightly differ depending on the region.
In the north, the steaks are simmered in a spicy broth that is usually drizzled on the bread roll. Bifana is traditionally consumed without additional condiments, but it is occasionally accompanied by sautéed onions. In Lisbon, the meat is sometimes marinated and grilled, while mustard is a common accompaniment in Lisbon and in the south of Portugal.
Regardless of the slight differences, all varieties produce moist and juicy steaks that perfectly pair with crusty bread rolls. Not much is known about the origin of bifana, and even though it is enjoyed throughout the country, it is often suggested that it first appeared in the municipality of Vendas Novas. The popularity of bifana in Portugal is reflected in the fact that even McDonalds has included it in their menu under the name McBifana.