Yesterday was Portugal Day and this is how we celebrated. We didn’t go to watch the parade in Toronto. We didn’t go to listen to any of the performances that were put on, in and around the city. Instead, we went shopping at a Portuguese specialty grocery store and had dinner at a Portuguese restaurant. How authentic of us!
We had gone to the grocery store, not because we were honouring our roots on Portugal Day, but rather because the people behind the counter just ‘get it’ when we tell them what Portuguese dish we’re making. They’re always helpful in getting us just the right products to make our meal in the style of the particular region we’re interested in. For this dish they suggested a nice cut of sirloin. It wasn’t what Nelson was expecting, but it was an excellent choice.
Man…we wish we had this store closer to home. We always have to make a special trip to shop there. Nelson often does grocery shopping on his own, but we all like to go with him when he has to go to this shop. Even the kids love going there because of the unique Portuguese products they find. Is it sad that this is a fun time for me? LOL… I should get out more!
The moment Nelson said he wanted to make Bitoque (sounds kind of like, bee-talk), I was immediately in the mood to have that for dinner. Hence the second Portuguese-related event from yesterday. We decided to eat at a Portuguese restaurant before heading home (yup, we also lack Portuguese restaurants in our city). I knew what I was going to order.
Bitoque is the dish that the kids and I almost always order at Portuguese restaurants. It’s super common but if the cut of meat is good and they cook it right, it’s so delicious. Basically it’s a steak with an egg on horseback and it’s normally served with salad, rice, and either straight-cut or chip-cut fries. I love watching the egg yolk ooze over my steak. MMMM…. a little egg in every bite.
Imagine how shocked I was when I didn’t see Bitoque listed on the menu. What? This was like going to McDonalds and not finding Big Mac on the menu. Not that I like Big Macs…but can you imagine not finding a Big Mac at McD’s? Nelson reminded me that he was making bitoque for dinner the next day. I knew that… but I assure you I can eat this two days in a row. I chose a another meal and enjoyed it thoroughly, because it was really good, but especially knowing I was going to have bitoque the next day.
We just finished up dinner a little while ago and Nelson’s bitoque did NOT disappoint. Even our little guy piped up with, “Dad, this is on-point!”. LOL… A real compliment from our picky eater. We do know a great bitoque when we eat one. This was one of those. It totally made up for yesterday’s restaurant disappointment.
So the stars were aligned and we ended the Portugal Day weekend with a delicious Portuguese dish. Our kids even spoke a few words of Portuguese this weekend. Success at every turn. Here’s to all things good. Eat well, friends!
Portuguese House Steak - Bitoque
- 4 1/2 inch thick sirloin steaks or cutlets (about 2 1/2 lbs total)
- 1 cup white wine
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tsp butter or olive oil to cook eggs
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the wine, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Pour the marinade into a sealable freezer bag
- Place the steaks and bay leaves in the same bag.
- Remove the air and seal the bag.
- Massage the marinade into the meat and refrigerate over night (at least 4 hours)
- In a large frying pan, heat the oil to medium high.
- Remove the steaks from the freezer bag and place them on a plate that's lined with paper towel. This will remove excess liquid before placing the meat in the hot oil. Discard the marinade from the bag.
- Once the oil is hot, carefully place the steaks in the pan.
- Let them cook/sear about 4 minutes or until they look seared (you should see some brown crusty edges).
- Turn the steaks over and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the butter over the steaks and continue to cook for another two minutes.
- The steaks should be about medium. Cook longer if preferred.
- Heat a separate non-stick skillet or well seasoned cast iron pan to medium over medium heat. Add 1 tsp of butter or olive oil to the skillet (for each egg). When the butter starts to foam and melt, crack the egg and add the egg to the pan. Cook until the white is set and solid. Add salt and pepper if necessary, and set aside. Follow the step for all 4 eggs.
- Serve the steaks hot with your favourite sides. Place a fried eggs over each steak. These steaks are typically served with white rice, homemade fries, a fresh green salad and a side of olives.