Beef Stew in Spicy Berbere Sauce

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

Yield: Makes 6 servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 400
  • Calories from fat: 50%
  • Protein: 38g
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrate: 11g
  • Fiber: 1.6g
  • Sodium: 336mg
  • Cholesterol: 144mg

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. 1. In a food processor, pulse onions until very finely diced (almost puréed).
  2. 2. Melt butter in 4- to 5-quart pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and stir until browned, about 10 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
  5. Ethiopian cooking 101:
  6. 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).
  7. 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).
  8. 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.

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