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While Portugal may be known for its ocean-fresh seafood, another of its signature dishes is bife à Portuguesa, or “Portuguese-style steak.” This hearty meal can be found on the menu at many restaurants around the country, and Impulso Restaurante & Bar at The Editory Riverside Hotel is no exception. Unlike its simple preparation with salt and pepper in other cultures across the globe, bife à portuguesa takes an alternate, more flamboyant approach. After pan-frying the beef, a reduction is made from the juices with white wine and garlic. Then, the savory meat receives a salty crown of smoked ham (some eateries also add a fried egg, complete with an unctuous yolk, to really add to the decadence). Lastly, the whole thing is served with a side of potatoes to soak up any sauce.

At Impulso Restaurante, diners can order the steak “Our Way.” Featuring beef from Cachena da Peneda cattle, which has received a title of Portuguese Protected Designation of Origin for its succulent texture and flavor, and cured ham from the country’s wine region of Alentejo and served with crisply fried potato chips, the indulgent dish is a true taste of Portugal’s culinary heritage. Although the recipe is more like suggestions than guidelines, cooks can try their hand at making the dish in their kitchens at home.

Bife à Portuguesa (Portuguese-style Steak)


  • Steak seasoned
  • Slices of ham
  • Mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Olive oil
  • White wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Butter
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Crush 2 cloves of garlic and place in a frying pan with olive oil.
  2. Brown the garlic and remove from the pan.
  3. Season the steak with salt and pepper, then brown in the frying pan with the very hot garlic-infused olive oil.
  4. Once browned to the desired level, remove the steak from the pan.
  5. Add white wine, mustard, ham slices and the bay leaf to the frying pan.
  6. Allow the sauce to thicken a little and the alcohol to evaporate.
  7. Turn off the heat and finish with butter and a few drops of vinegar.
  8. Return the steak to the frying pan and coat with the sauce. Top with the sliced ham.


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