Citizens, there are three beef dishes that TFD – the veritable Caliph of Carnivores! – loves uncooked – Koi Soi from Thailand, Steak Tartare from France and Kitfo from Ethiopia! , and I am delighted to be able to share this recipe with you today! 🙂
Kitfo – while similar to steak tartare at first look – is actually quite different in both seasonings and preparation.
Kitfo, sometimes spelled ketfo, is a traditional dish found in Ethiopian cuisine. Kitfo consists of minced raw beef, marinated in mitmita (a chili powder-based spice blend) and niter kibbeh (a clarified butter infused with herbs and spices). The word comes from the Ethio-Semitic root k-t-f, meaning “to chop finely; mince.”
Kitfo tartare cooked lightly rare is known as kitfo leb leb. Kitfo is often served alongside—sometimes mixed with—a mild cheese called ayibe or cooked greens known as gomen.
In many parts of Ethiopia, kitfo is served with injera, a flatbread made from teff. Though not considered a delicacy, kitfo is generally held in high regard.
Kiddo tartare is served on special occasions such as holidays; it is commonly used on the “Finding of the True Cross” or “Meskel” holiday celebrated annually on September 27 in Ethiopia.
There are several unique ingredients in this recipe, specific to Ethiopian cuisine. The first is mitmita, (ሚጥሚጣ in Amharic), a powdered seasoning mix used in Ethiopia.
It is orange-red in color and contains ground African bird’s eye chili peppers, cardamom seed, cloves, and salt. It occasionally has other spices including cinnamon, cumin, and ginger.
The mixture is used to season the raw beef dish kitfo and may also be sprinkled on ful medames (fava beans). In addition, mitmita may be presented as a condiment and sprinkled on other delicacies or spooned onto a piece of injera, so that morsels may be lightly dipped into it.
There is an excellent discussion of mitmita on this scholarly page.
Niter kibbeh is basically spiced ghee or clarified butter that uses several unique spices to Ethiopian cuisine. My recipe for it is here.
Since Ethiopian goat cheese is unavailable in the states, I recommend a good, finely crumbled sheep’s milk feta mixed with top-quality cottage cheese instead. My recipe – if you’re bold! – for making injera is here.
You can get all of these spices as well as pre-made injera, niter kibbeh and mitmita at Brundo, my favorite Ethiopian market. They ship nationwide and were kind enough to send me a number of different spices as a thank you for my strong patronage! !
If you love steak tartare, you will absolutely adore this exotic variant, !
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
- 1 ½ pounds beef tenderloin, finely minced
- ½ cup spiced butter – Niter Kibbeh
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped Serrano chile
- 1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped peeled ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon mitmita (Ethiopian spice powder) made from:
- 12 pequin chilies
- 4 tsp cumin seeds
- 9 cardamom pods, peeled and seeds reserved
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 allspice berries
- 2 cloves
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. ginger powder
- Sea salt
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh lemon juice
- Injera (Ethiopian flatbread), for serving – get these at your local Ethiopian restaurant or make them according to TFD’s recipe
- Ayib (Ethiopian cheese), for serving – if unavailable, and it probably is, used finely-crumbled sheep’s milk feta combined with top-quality organic cottage cheese instead
- Make the mitmita:
- Tip the pequin chilies into a dry frying pan. Toast for a few minutes until they’re lightly browned. Add to a spice grinder.
- Tip the cumin seeds into the frying pan and toast for few minutes until they’re popping. Add to the chilies. Crush the cardamom pods and shake the black seeds into a spice grinder. Add the peppercorns, cloves and allspice and grind to a fine powder.
- Stir in the cinnamon, garlic powder and ginger powder. Add a pinch of sea salt and stir to mix. Store in an airtight jar.
- Place the meat in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until it darkens.Strain into a bowl and refrigerate until thick and cooled, and then return to the skillet to melt.
- Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the chiles, ginger and garlic and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until soft and aromatic, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the mitmita until well combined and cook, stirring, 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat, add beef and season with salt, black pepper and lemon juice and serve on a plate of injera with ayib on the side.
- Category: Recipes
- Calories: 663.5 kcal
- Sugar: 1.69 g
- Sodium: 577.2 mg
- Fat: 54.26 g
- Saturated Fat: 26.98 g
- Trans Fat: 0.93 g
- Carbohydrates: 9.07 g
- Fiber: 3.05 g
- Protein: 35.54 g
- Cholesterol: 205.59 mg
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