Recipe courtesy of Hawa Hassan

Prego Rolls (Steak and Piri Piri Sandwiches)

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
These sandwiches are best made by grilling the steak outside, but you can still make this recipe if you don’t have an outdoor grill. Just cook the steak in a ripping-hot cast-iron pan (turn on your exhaust fan and open your windows!). Look for Portuguese rolls at your local grocery store (they’re usually near the kaiser rolls), and if you can’t find them, a soft bread roll like a ciabatta roll or other flour-dusted roll will work well. It’s hard to go a day in Mozambique without eating something that’s touched with piri piri sauce (sometimes written as peri peri). The sauce, made with chiles, citrus, and oil, is Portuguese in origin, but peri is actually the Swahili word for “chile” and refers to a specific type of chile pepper that is said to have been first cultivated in Africa.


Piri Piri Sauce:


  1. Place the steak and 1/2 cup of the Piri Piri Sauce in a large resealable plastic bag. Using your hands, rub the sauce all over the steak and then seal the bag. Allow the steak to marinate for as little as 15 minutes at room temperature or put it in the refrigerator and let it marinate for up to 24 hours.
  2. When you’re ready to grill the steak, prepare a cast-iron pan, grill pan, or outdoor grill (charcoal or gas, whatever you’ve got) for medium heat. remove the steak from the marinade (let any excess drip back in the bag and then discard the bag) and place it on the grill. Grill the steak, turning it every so often, until charred in spots and cooked to your liking (about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare). Transfer the steak to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Keep your grill on for your rolls.
  3. While the steak is resting, mix the melted butter, garlic, and salt together in a small bowl. Spoon the garlic butter over the cut sides of the rolls and grill them on their cut sides until golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer the rolls to a serving platter, cut-sides up.
  4. Thinly slice the rested steak and divide it among the bottom halves of the rolls. Drizzle each portion with 2 tablespoons of the Piri Piri Sauce (use up the remaining 1/2 cup) as well as some leftover butter, if you have any. Close the sandwiches with the top halves of the rolls. Serve immediately.

Piri Piri Sauce:

Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups
  1. In the jar of a blender, combine the chiles, garlic, ginger, lime juice, oil, sugar, and salt and puree until smooth. Season to taste with more salt or sugar if you’d like. Transfer to a jar and store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.