This Ethiopian-Inspired Beef Stew is a combination of a few different Ehtiopian Beef Stew (key wat) recipes that I found online. I love the flavors of Ethiopian dishes, so I was excited to recreate berbere at home! It definitely requires quite a bit of spices and I had to make a few substitutions, but the final result was absolutely heavenly although not completely authentic. Note: I didn’t have ground fenugreek for the berbere seasoning, but I saw my harissa mix had fenugreek in it. Berbere doesn’t typically have ground harissa in it but it does have ground fenugreek.

The final product is an Ethiopian-Inspired Beef Stew that is spicy, fragrant, with super tender beef! The mint, lemon, and honey on top work perfectly to cut through the heat of the dish.


Serves: 8, with leftover berbere spice mix

Cost: $$

Skill Level: Easy

Time to Make: 1 hour 45 minutes (1 hour 20 minutes)



tablespoons crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon cayenne powder

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon harissa powder (omit if you don’t have it)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

teaspoon turmeric

teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ginger powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

3⁄4 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder


2 pounds cubed chuck

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion

3 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cups beef stock

2 tablespoons berbere mixture (depending on your spiciness preference)

1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

12 whole carrots


Juice of 1 lemon

1 bunch of mint

2 scallions

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon honey

Salt to taste


Prepare Ingredients: Pat the beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Dice the onion. Mince the garlic cloves. Trim and peel the carrots and cut into 2” pieces on an angle. Trim and mince the scallions.

Prepare the Berbere Mixture: Combine all the ingredients for the berbere in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

Brown the Beef: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large heave-bottomed pot until very hot. Add the beef in an even layer, cooking in batches, until browned all over, about 3-4 minutes before side. Transfer all the brown beef to a bowl.

Start the Stew: To the pot, add the onions and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes, stirring regularly until browned. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and tomato paste and cook, stirring regularly, about 4 minutes until the tomato paste deepens in color. Add the beef stock, crushed tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the berbere spice mix, salt, pepper, and the beef and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally until the beef is tender. Taste the stew and season with salt, pepper, or more berbere mixture.

Cook the Carrots: After the stew has simmered for 1 hour, add the carrots and cook, uncovered, an additional 30 minutes until fork-tender. You may wish to remove the beef, shred it, and return it to the stew.

Prepare the Mint Topping: 30 minutes before serving, prepare the mint topping. In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, honey, and extra virgin olive oil and stir until well combined. Tear the mint leaves before adding them to the bowl and then stir in the minced scallions. Season with salt.

To Serve: Divide the stew between bowls and spoon a bit of the mint topping over each bowl. Serve with homemade inerja (if you’re feeling adventurous), crusty bread, couscous, or rice.

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