The cuisine of the municipality of Portalegre follows the culinary traditions of Alto Alentejo: Tomato Soup, Potato Soup, Bean and Cabbage Soup, Dogfish with garlic, Sarapatel (offal stew), Offal Soup, Mashed Bread and Potato with fried pork, and lamb stew are some of the region’s typical dishes. In addition, of course, to the deliciously rich “convent” sweets.

Traditional Portalegre recipes:

Migas (mashed bread) with Pork (serves 6)
1 kg pork: loin, ribs and bacon
1 kg pork: loin, ribs and bacon
3 cloves garlic
3 spoonfuls red pepper paste
3 spoonfuls lard
1 loaf stale bread

Season the pork the day before, rubbing it with the red pepper paste. Fry the garlic and then the meat in the lard until crispy. Set aside the meat, and in the same pot, retaining the fat, place the sliced bread and cover with boiling water. Leave to soften for a few minutes. Return to the heat, stirring well with a wooden spoon to form a paste. When they come away from the walls of the pot, the Migas are ready. Add a little fat and fry until crisp. Serve immediately with the fried pork.

Lamb stew (serves 10)
1 lamb weighing 7 or 8 kg, with the legs and ribs removed for other dishes
3 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 dl olive oil
2 spoonfuls lard
1 glass white wine
salt and whole pepper
stale bread

Cut the lamb into pieces. Fry the finely chopped garlic with the bay leaf in the fats.
Add the meat, season with salt and pepper and fry until golden. Add the white wine, cover and leave to simmer over a low heat. When the liquid boils off, add drops of hot water, stirring to prevent sticking. Before serving add enough boiling water to soak the bread. Serve in a deep dish over a layer of very thin slices of stale bread.

Dogfish soup  (serves 6)
2 kg dogfish (12 slices)
6 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
2 dl olive oil
2 tablespoons floor and 1 of paprika
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 bunch coriander
salt and pepper
Boiling water

Finely chop the garlic and fry quickly in the olive oil along with the bay leaf and a small sprig of the coriander. Add the fish, cleaned and seasoned with coarse salt, and brown on both sides over a high heat. In a bowl, mix the paprika with the vinegar, flour, pepper and a small glass of water. Pour this mixture over the fish and simmer over a low heat, shaking the pan gently, to cook the flour. Add boiling water (around 1 litre) and the chopped coriander. Boil for three minutes and serve immediately over thin slices of stale bread.