Beef Stew in Spicy Berbere Sauce

Beef Stew in Spicy Berbere SauceRecipe
Dan Goldberg
This hearty beef stew in spicy berbere sauce is even easier to make than the classic American version.
Makes 6 servings


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2 medium onions, quartered lengthwise
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon each ground paprika and cayenne (see notes)
1 teaspoon each ground cumin and fenugreek (optional; see
1/2 teaspoon each ground turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom
1/4 teaspoon each ground cloves and allspice
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) crushed tomatoes in purée
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 1/2 pounds boned beef chuck, fat trimmed, cut into 3/4-inch chunks


Prep: 20 Minutes
Cook: 2 Hours

1. In a food processor, pulse onions until very finely diced (almost puréed).

2. Melt butter in 4- to 5-quart pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and stir until browned, about 10 minutes.

3. Add ginger, paprika, cayenne, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and allspice; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, wine, and beef; bring to a simmer, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef is very tender when pierced, about 2 hours. Add salt to taste.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Ethiopian cooking 101:

Berbere: This heady spice mixture is the basis for all Ethiopian cooking. It can feature clove, cayenne, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon, among other spices. Ground fenugreek seeds, which add a mildly sweet flavor, are also typical. Buy them at Middle Eastern markets or from Penzeys Spices ($1.09 per 1/4-cup jar;

Injera: Authentic injera is made from fermented teff, a grain common in Ethiopia. The bread's spongy, bubbly texture is similar to that of a pancake. If authenticity is your aim, you can buy teff flour from Abyssinian Market ($25 for 5 lb.;

Tej: This Ethiopian honey wine is the traditional match for spicy stews, but few retailers in the United States carry authentic imported tej. You can buy a bottle at many Ethiopian restaurants, but an accessible alternative is off-dry Riesling, which pairs beautifully with the spicy beef stew. Our favorite: Spätlese Rieslings from Germany's Mosel region.

Created date

February 2006

Nutritional Information

Calories 400
Caloriesfromfat 50 %
Protein 38 g
Fat 22 g
Satfat 10 g
Carbohydrate 11 g
Fiber 1.6 g
Sodium 336 mg
Cholesterol 144 mg