Photo Credit: Peter Cassidy

Steak Tartare with Spiced Clarified Butter

By far the most famous beef dish in Ethiopia is kitfo, finely minced beef blended with melted niter kebbeh and some mitmita. Although generally eaten raw (tere), it can be lightly cooked (lebleb) or even cooked (yebesele).

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Steak Tartare

Steak Tartare with Spiced Clarified Butter

By far the most famous beef dish in Ethiopia is kitfo, finely minced beef blended with melted niter kebbeh and some mitmita. Although generally eaten raw (tere), it can be lightly cooked (lebleb) or even cooked (yebesele).
Course: Dinner
Keyword: ethiopian, steak, steak tartare
Servings: 4
Author: Yohanis Gebreyesus

Ingredients

Steak Tartare:

  • 1 pound 2 oz (500 g) lean rib-eye, top round, or sirloin beef
  • 6 tablespoons (3½ oz/100 g) niter kebbeh
  • mitmita spice blend
  • salt
  • ground cardamom (optional)

Niter Kebbeh (Spiced Clarified Butter):

  • 1 pound 2 oz (500 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried korseret or equal amounts of dried oregano and thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried besobela or Thai Basil

Instructions

Steak Tartare:

  • Trim and discard the fat and gristle from the meat and then mince using a large, sharp chef's knife—it should be almost as fine as ground beef. Alternatively, have your butcher pass it twice through a meat grinder.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the niter kebbeh and set aside.
  • Place the meat in a large frying pan over low heat and quickly, without letting the meat brown, mix in the niter kebbeh, mitmita, and salt to taste. Add a pinch of cardamom, if desired. The meat should be warm but still raw. Serve with a bowl of mitmita on the side.

Niter Kebbeh (Spiced Clarified Butter):

  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over low heat, skimming off the foam. Cook for about 5 minutes until the solid, milky residue has sunk to the bottom, but do not let the solids darken. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool a little, then strain the liquid into a clean saucepan and discard the solids.
  • Sprinkle the nigella, cardamom, and coriander seeds, if using, into the pan and cook over low heat for 5-10 minutes until aromatic, stirring gently from time to time. Add the koseret and besobela and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring gently. Watch to make sure it does not burn and the oil does not darken.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and leave to settle for 10 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth into a clean glass jar. Once completely cool, cover tightly and store in the refrigerator, where it will solidify, for up to two months.

Notes

Ethiopia
 
Excerpted from Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa by Yohanis Gebreyesus. Photography by Peter Cassidy. Interlink © 2019.
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