Beef Tartare with Spiced Clarified Butter (Kitfo)

Beef Tartare with Spiced Clarified Butter (Kitfo)
Minced raw beef is flavored with mitmita, a fiery spice blend that typically includes bird's-eye chiles, cumin seeds, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.©Peter Cassidy, courtesy of Interlink Books

Kitfo is one of Ethiopia's most renowned recipes, originating in the Gurage region. Ethiopians prefer to use a cut called shent, which is closest to the North American rib-eye. While it's preferable to cut the meat by hand, you can also grind it. Ask your butcher to pass it twice through the grinder and use only the freshest, highest-quality beef.

Adapted from Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa (2019) by Yohanis Gebreyesus with Jeff Koehler. Published by Interlink Books.

What You Will Need

Beef Tartare with Spiced Clarified Butter (Kitfo)
Kitfo is one of Ethiopia’s most renowned recipes, originating in the Gurage region. Ethiopians prefer to use a cut called shent, which is closest to the North American rib-eye. While it’s preferable to cut the meat by hand, you can also grind it. Ask your butcher to pass it twice through the grinder and use only the freshest, highest-quality beef.
Yield: serves 4
Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless, lean beef such as rib-eye, top round, or sirloin
  • ½ cups melted Spiced Clarified Butter
  • ¼ tsp. mitmita spice blend
  • Kosher salt
  • Injera or another flatbread, for serving

Instructions

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut away any excess fat from the meat and discard. Finely chop the remaining meat to achieve a fairly smooth paste (it should be finer than ground beef, and you should have about 2½ cups).
  2. In a large skillet over low heat, add the meat, warmed spiced butter, and mitmita. Cook, stirring constantly to avoid letting the meat brown, just until the mixture is lightly warmed but still raw and the spices are well-incorporated. Season with salt to taste.
  3. Serve warm with injera or another flatbread for scooping.