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Portuguese pork chops

Discover the traditional flavors of Portugal with our easy-to-follow recipe for Bifanas, or Portuguese pork chops, complete with expert tips for the perfect dish.

by Maria
Portuguese pork chops

Portuguese pork chops, known as “Bifanas,” are a classic dish that will transport your taste buds straight to the vibrant streets of Lisbon. This recipe is deeply rooted in Portuguese cuisine and is renowned for its tantalizing blend of spices and flavors.

Bifanas are traditionally served in local tascas (taverns) and are a staple at festivals and fairs across Portugal. The secret to their unique taste lies in the marinade, a mixture of wine, garlic, and traditional Portuguese spices, infusing the pork with an irresistible aroma and flavor.

The preparation of Bifanas is straightforward yet demands attention to detail. The pork chops are marinated in a rich blend of white wine, paprika, garlic, and a hint of lemon, capturing the essence of Portuguese cooking.

Once marinated, they are quickly pan-fried to perfection, resulting in tender, flavorful chops that are slightly crispy on the outside.

These chops are often served with Pão (Portuguese rolls) or alongside classic sides like batatas fritas (fried potatoes) or a simple salad, making them a versatile option for any meal.


  • 4 boneless pork chops, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish


  1. In a bowl, whisk together white wine, minced garlic, paprika, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the pork chops and bay leaf, ensuring they are well-coated with the marinade.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Remove pork chops from the marinade, shaking off excess, and pan-fry for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Once cooked, transfer the chops to a serving dish, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve hot.


  • For the best flavor, marinate the pork chops overnight. This allows the meat to absorb all the flavors and tenderize, resulting in a more flavorful and tender chop.
  • Thinly slice the pork chops to ensure they absorb more marinade and cook quickly and evenly in the pan. Thick chops might not cook as evenly or absorb the marinade as well.
  • Use a good quality dry white wine for the marinade. The wine’s acidity tenderizes the meat and adds a depth of flavor. Avoid sweet wines as they can overpower the other flavors.
  • Cook the pork chops over medium-high heat to achieve a good sear on the outside while keeping the inside juicy. Cooking on too low heat can cause the meat to dry out.
  • Serve these chops in traditional Portuguese style with crusty bread rolls to soak up the delicious juices. For a more hearty meal, pair with fried potatoes or a fresh green salad.

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