Sizzling Spiced Beef (Siga Tibs)

  • Serves

    serves 4

  • Cook

    1 hour

By SAVEUR Editors

Published on April 19, 2019

Popular and prepared year-round, this dish also has a place on the table for the fast-breaking feasts of Easter and Christmas. You can cook the meat and brown the onions in the same skillet. Use the largest one you have, and when you're done cooking the onions, move them to the outside of the pan as you cook the meat in the center. For a slightly saucier version of this dish, stir in a splash of tej (Ethiopian mead), red wine, or water with the chiles, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

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


  • 2 lb. boneless, lean beef, such as top round or sirloin, thinly sliced against the grain, then cut into 1x2-inch-wide strips
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced (7 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. Spiced Clarified Butter or clarified butter
  • ¼ tsp. berbere spice blend, plus more for serving
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 medium jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced (3 Tbsp.)
  • Injera or another flatbread, for serving


Step 1

In a medium bowl, add the beef. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Step 2

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, lowering the heat or adding a tablespoon of water as needed, until deep, golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Move the onions to the edges of the pan, raise the heat to medium-high, and add about 1 cup of the meat in the center. Let cook, turning once, until seared on both sides, about 2 minutes total. Move the cooked meat to the pan’s edges, and repeat with another cup of meat. When all of the meat has been browned in this manner, stir in the spiced butter, ¼ teaspoon of berbere, and the rosemary. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more berbere, kosher salt, or black pepper as desired. Scatter the jalapeño slices over the top.

Step 3

Remove from the heat and serve the dish hot with injera or another flatbread for scooping, and a bowl of extra berbere on the side for dipping, if desired.

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