Beef Stew in Spicy Berbere Sauce

Dan Goldberg
This hearty beef stew in spicy berbere sauce is even easier to make than the classic American version.

Yield:

Makes 6 servings

Recipe from

Recipe Time

Prep: 20 Minutes
Cook: 2 Hours

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

Ingredients

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
Salt

Preparation

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; www.penzeys.com).

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.; www.abyssinianmarket.com).

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.

Note:

Notes: A generous dose of cayenne gives this stew a lively heat. If you prefer milder spice, reduce the amount to 1 or 2 teaspoons.

March 2006