In Lisbon, Anthony and I visited Cantinho Lusitano for dinner one night. Of all the places we visited, Cantinho Lusitano was definitely our favourite. I think it is classed as being in the Bairro Alto area of Lisbon it is a small place run by a husband and wife. The menu is loads of smallish dishes meant to be shared around the table. I loved this – “Azeitão” Cheese . Warm and runny! But the stand out dish was ”Pica-Pau” (Strips of Beef with Special Sauce and Fried Sweet Potatoes) which has turned into Anthony’s “signature dish”.
Ingredients (serves 2)
500g steak, sliced into this strips
As many cloves of garlic as you can stand
1 red pepper, sliced
3-4 tbs sweet Portuguese mustard (cheaper the better) or Dijon maybe. Not a hot one.
1 bottle of lager (Super Bok for example)
Heat a pan, add a bit of oil and fry the steak so it is browned.
Take the steak out of the pan and set aside.
Add everything else to the pan EXCEPT the butter. Let it simmer and reduce a bit.
Add the butter and let it melt through.
Add the steak back.
The fried sweet potatoes were like fries made from yam. Anthony and I roast parsnips tonight. Yummy yummy. Of course – real fries, a loaf of bread, roast potato and other variations on a high carbohydrate theme.
We learnt the recipe from the chief who came out to talk to us at our table. I got to ask loads of questions about traditional bakeware – for all your specialist baking needs go to Pollux which is almost as good as some of the Paris shops – or how to make a Molotoff – or why so many Portuguese desserts are made from egg (because apparently at the convents and monasteries where a lot of the desserts originate, egg white was used to iron and starch the outfits and the yolks got turned into nata), who the rated local chefs are etc etc. It was so interesting and the food was really delicious well cooked home food. Really a highlight.
Rua dos Prazeres, 52
Telephone: 21 806 51 85