Bife à Cavalo (Horseback-Riding Steak)


Yes, I can hear you laughing!  I have to admit…Horseback-Riding Steak or Bife à Cavalo (in Portuguese) is a hilarious name for a steak.  But perhaps instead of having a smile on your face you have a big question mark over your head… Well no, it is not what you might  be thinking– this is NOT horse steak!!! Wheeeewwww… I hope you are feeling relieved now. 🙂 

Let me explain. Bife à cavalo is a traditional dish both in Brazil and in Portugal, consisting of a grilled (or sometimes deep-fried) beef steak, with fried eggs on top.

Horseback-Riding Steak (Bife `a Cavalo) -- Quickest and most easy-to-prepare steak!!!

In Brazil bife à cavalo is usually served with rice and beans and a salad, or just fries.  Its name is an allusion to the appearance that the fried eggs are “riding” the steak as on horseback. 

Although bife à cavalo is a dish originally from France (Bifteck à Cheval or Steak à Cheval), it became popular in Brazil and Portugal.  It is also well-known and appreciated in Argentina (Bife a Caballo), Colombia (Bistec a Caballo), Peru and Chile (known in these countries as “A lo Pobre”), and other South American countries where accompaniments vary from region to region.

Only cuts that can be grilled or deep fried — such as flank steak and rib eye, are used to prepare bife à cavalo.  I usually use rib eye steak to prepare mine because it is available everywhere.  Personally, I also like to eat my bife à cavalo sandwiched between 2 slices of bread.  Well, one thing is for sure: No matter what accompaniments one chooses, bife à cavalo is one of the best dishes that one can cook and eat.  Why?  First, because bife à cavalo is simple and super-quick to prepare.  Second, it is tender and beyond-delicious, providing double sources of protein (steak and eggs).

This was the first time that my 7 year-old and 6 year-old were introduced to bife à cavalo, and they were hooked at first bite.  And what’s more,  they didn’t even need a side serving of fries.  I can still remember the expression of enjoyment on their little faces…

Horseback-Riding Steak (Bife `a Cavalo) -- The quickest and most easy-to-prepare Steak!!!

 Enjoy as much as we did… or as we say in Brazil, “Bom Apetite!”


5.0 from 7 reviews
Bife à Cavalo (Horseback-Riding Steak)
Prep time
Cook time
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A traditional dish in both Brazil and Portugal, consisting of a grilled or sometimes deep-fried steak, with fried eggs on top.
Recipe type: Main dish
Cuisine: Brazilian
Serves: 2
  • 2 (15-ounce) rib eye steaks, ¾-inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 fried eggs (also known as sunny-side up eggs)
  • ¼ cup small diced yellow onion
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
  1. Remove steaks from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes minutes prior to cooking. Season each steak on both sides with a mixture of ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over high heat, melt the butter and stir in the oil. Cook the steaks for about 3-4 minutes per side (medium-rare to medium) or 5-6 minutes per side (medium-well to well done) and transfer to a plate. Meanwhile, cook the fried eggs in another frying pan.
  3. Once steaks have been transferred to a plate, cook onions over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes in the same frying pan that the steaks were cooked in, utilizing the pan drippings, and stirring occasionally. Remove onions from the pan and place on top of the steaks. Top each steak with one fried egg and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley or cilantro on top. Serve immediately accompanied by fries or rice, beans, and a fresh salad. Enjoy!

Horseback-Riding Steak (Bife `a Cavalo) -- The quickest and most easy-to-prepare Steak!!!!

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52 Responses to Bife à Cavalo (Horseback-Riding Steak)

  1. Shema | LifeScoops 8 January, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    You have just defined the right way to have a steak – with a fried egg!!!!! It looks out of this world!!! Loved it 🙂

    • Denise Browning 8 January, 2014 at 7:35 am #

      Thanks, Shema! My family and I enjoy this steak with fried eggs on top a lot.

  2. Lail | With A Spin 8 January, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    Steak and fried eggs. Anytime, Denise.

  3. The Café Sucre Farine 8 January, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    I want to come to your house for dinner Denise, this sounds fantastic! I thought the name came from the fact that you’d get so hungry riding horses you’d need something hearty and delicious! 🙂

    • Denise Browning 8 January, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

      LOL…Thanks, Chris! You put a smile on my face on a day that it is much needed. Have a glorious day!

  4. Coffee and Crumpets 9 January, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    You and me at fried steak! Yummy! This looks delicious Denise and I think I’d definitely want some fries with that. One of my fave French dishes is Steak Frites, but with this one you get an egg too!

  5. Amira 9 January, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    Hmmm this sounds great, Only one problem… in my house they- hubby and kids- eat their meat well done.. and I have a huge problem with meat since we landed here in the US. I can not find a cut that is tender enough to be well done when fried… I keep boiling and boiling and boiling the meat for 3 – 4 hours until it is done enough for my family. I am going to try them for me 🙂 and may be will make a chicken version for them… fair enough? Thanks dear for the recipe….
    P.S.: It really sounded weird …LOL

    • Denise Browning 9 January, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

      Hi, Amira! This rib eye steak is appropriate for grilling and cooking in high temperatures yet it is still tender. If you want to cook it medium-well to well-done, please add 1 to 2 minutes per side to the time stated in the recipe. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Amira 15 January, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

        hmmm then may be I should try it for them as well… thanks for the advice my friend.

    • Denise Browning 10 January, 2014 at 7:40 am #

      Hey, abbe! I love to have your visits. I hope you make this dish to your family…It is a crowd-pleasing meal!

  6. Julia | JuliasAlbum.com 10 January, 2014 at 12:06 am #

    Denise, what an amazing looking steak! I love steaks with eggs for breakfast – I even posted a recipe on my blog for breakfast flank steak + eggs. Yummy! Pinned!

    • Denise Browning 10 January, 2014 at 7:42 am #

      Thanks a lot, Julia! I did see yours and looked terrific!!!!

  7. Sugar et al 10 January, 2014 at 12:26 am #

    How do you come up with such gorgeousness! I LOVE this dish. Steak and eggs..what more can one ask for!

    • Denise Browning 10 January, 2014 at 7:43 am #

      Sonali: You are so sweet! It makes me happy to know that you loved this dish…I hope you make it one day and enjoy! xx

  8. Little Cooking Tips 10 January, 2014 at 12:52 am #

    It looks delicious Denise! Wonderful combination, we make the same dish ourselves with pork steaks:) Thank you!

    PS In instructions step 1, you typed the word minutes two times:)

    • Denise Browning 10 January, 2014 at 7:46 am #

      I had no idea that in Greece there is a version of this dish made with pork chops. I’d love to try your version as well. Thanks a lot for pointing out the double word/typo ‘minutes’. I’ll correct it in a sec. Wishing you both a wonderful weekend!

  9. Nami | Just One Cookbook 10 January, 2014 at 1:45 am #

    This post make me drool big time. I LOVE eating a meal like this. Fried egg on top! In Japan we say one egg per day for health, and it’s so frustrating because my mom used to cook an egg for me in the morning, but I also want to put fried egg on top of a food for dinner! Not to mention I love egg sandwich too…. anyway… I love eggs, and this steak is AWESOME!

    • Denise Browning 10 January, 2014 at 7:52 am #

      Although we serve this dish in Brazil with fries and other accompaniments, I do prefer mine between 2 slices of bread, as a sandwich. If you try this dish, you won’t regret it! Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

  10. Lisa 10 January, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    This looks so amazing Denise! My kids would be so happy to have Bife A Cavallo for dinner. They love meat and I don’t make it enough to satisfy their carnivorous appetites. I’m going to surprise them with this. Thanks so much for the inspiration. PS I found your blog on Pinterest and I’m looking forward to exploring!

    • Denise Browning 10 January, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

      Hi, Lisa! What a pleasure to have you here…Welcome to From Brazil To You! I hope your children enjoy this dish as much as my little ones did. Wishing you a great weekend!

  11. Deb 10 January, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    My husband adores ribeye! This would be a fantastic weekend treat! With fries of course!

    • Denise Browning 10 January, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

      Thanks, my dear!!!! Enjoy…Have a wonderful weekend!

  12. Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com 10 January, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    Denise, I don’t even like steak, but you had me drooling! GAH how does that happen????

    • Denise Browning 10 January, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      You put a smile on my face, Shashi! Thanks a lot. Enjoy your weekend…

  13. Gintare @Gourmantine 10 January, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    This is something that would make my hubs very very happy. I’m sure he’d squeeze between two pieces of baguette too 🙂

    • Denise Browning 10 January, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      That’s how I love to eat mine, sandwiched!! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. xx

  14. Daniela 10 January, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    My husband and sons are huge meat fans and after looking at your gorgeous
    pictures they made me promise to prepare this yummy dish soon 🙂

    • Denise Browning 10 January, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

      Hi, Daniela! Both my husband and children are fans of this dish. I hope your family enjoyed it as much as we did. Have a happy weekend!

  15. Mi Vida en un Dulce 10 January, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

    This is what we call “a lo pobre” (poor), and I don’t know why because the egg make the meat complete meal.

    • Denise Browning 11 January, 2014 at 7:55 am #

      Hi, Nydia! I mentioned this Peruvian expression in my post. It is a dish that Brazil shares with many other countries from South America.

  16. Kumar's Kitchen 11 January, 2014 at 3:41 am #

    one of our friends loves steaks….and we are just imagining how happy she would be if we serve her this sunny looking,hearty breakfast on one fine winter morning,thanks for the inspiration Denise,we will just have to work our way through this well explained recipe for a happy friend 🙂

    • Denise Browning 11 January, 2014 at 7:58 am #

      Hi, Kumar! I hope you introduce this dish to your friend. Everyone that have eaten, loved it. That’s why it is not only popular in Brazil but also in many other countries from South America. Enjoy!

  17. The Sketched Chef 11 January, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

    This seems to me as a perfect way to eat a steak!

  18. Liz 11 January, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    The hubby would think he’d died and gone to heaven if he found this on his breakfast plate! Beautifully done, Denise!

    • Denise Browning 12 January, 2014 at 8:09 am #

      Thanks, Liz! This is great also for lunch/dinner…I hope you can make for him one day…. xx

  19. Hanna @ MakeFor365.com 12 January, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    Get out of my head!!! This is exactly what I need with maybe some horseradish cauliflower and some crunchy bread. It looks positively divine!

    • Denise Browning 12 January, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

      Hi, Hanna! I am so glad that you loved this dish… Sandwich and devour it!!!! 🙂

  20. Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) 12 January, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    Your photos are really good and I can’t wait until next Sunday to plate a steak with beautiful sunny side up egg. And I’ve never heard of deep frying a steak. That would be a treat.

    • Denise Browning 12 January, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

      Hi, Lea Ann! I hope you enjoy this dish. It became a real family fave…Both my husband and little children love it. In Brazil, the deep-fried steak is a variation to the method described on the recipe above. Wishing you a great week!!!


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