Saturday, February 6, 2010

Spicy Beef Berbere

My World Lit classes were kicking off a new unit (new region) and I always bring in food (& music) as they work on the introductory worksheet packet (maps, author bio's, cultural research, etc.).
This time it was an Ethiopian recipe that calls for beef stew meat. When I've made it before--for friends at home--I've used a beef roast that, after cooking a few hours in the crock pot, easily pulled apart into tender strings and chunks; very nice. :) My students are not typically a highly discriminating bunch, though I appreciate their willingness to try unfamiliar dishes. I used ground beef. (It's cheap.)

Spicy Beef in Berbere Sauce
2 medium onions
1/4 C butter
1 Tbls minced fresh ginger
1 Tbls paprika
1 Tbls cayenne
1 Tbls cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp fenugreek*
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 C dry red wine
2 1/2 lbs beef stew meat

Pulse onions in a food processor until very finely diced, almost pureed. Melt butter in large pan; add onions and stir until browned (about 10 minutes). Add spices and stir until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add tomatoes, wine and beef; bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef is very tender (about 2 hours). Salt to taste.
I dump this into the crock pot to take it to school. (Or if you're heading to a potluck, etc.)

* Fenugreek is a spice (a seed actually) that has a mild, sweet flavor. You might be able to find it at a Middle Eastern market if you really want to. It's not exactly the same, but I pitch in a little extra cardamom and call it good.

Serving suggestion: Eat with your hands. This is great served with (scooped onto) injera -- Ethiopian flatbread, somewhere between a French crepe and Indian naan. Recipe below (somewhat modified for us uses club soda). Again, a couple months ago with friends over for dinner...I made it. Recently, I wasn't quite up to cooking enough for 50 students. At school we made do with whole wheat tortillas.

No comments: