Recipe Source: Mesfin, D. J. Exotic Ethiopian Cooking. Ethiopian Cookbook Enterprises of Falls Church VA, Falls Church, 2004 p. 125.
I had originally intended to serve this dish on a Sunday. It was just going to be us, and since we've been trying to limit our red meat to once per week (not always successfully, it must be said) I thought it would be a nice start to the week. Plans changed. We decided that we would invite some friends to decorate our Christmas tree with us. Those friends really can't handle spice. The husband is particularly sensitive. I decided that we would do just fine to eat this on Saturday night instead – it was just filling enough that we didn't feel tempted to load up on hors d'oeuvres at the party we attended that night, and since I made it well ahead of time it was no trouble at all.
I made a few changes to this. You may be surprised to note that using lamb for beef, which is what I would normally do, is not among them. I had to go to the Large Chain Supermarket That Shall Not Be Named near my house that week, and their lamb selection was dismal and did not include anything that would be suitable for this dish. I did, however, halve the recipe as there were only two of us eating it. I reduced the proportion of butter, though, figuring that using that much butter would cause my husband no end of discomfort. I used chili powder (X-Tra Hot, of course) for the berbere, since berbere is hard to come by these days and the cost of making it at home according to the recipe in this book was prohibitive. I also added cumin and coriander to the mix, just because they seemed to work well here. The result was a delicious and satisfying dish that makes a wonderful make-ahead meal.
Minchet Abish (serves 4; approx. $3.04/serving)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
2 red onions, finely chopped
½ cup chili powder
1 cup water
½ stick butter
Kosher salt to taste
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon chickpea flour
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
½ cup red wine
¼ teaspoon ground fenugreek
- Large sauté pan
- Heat the oil in the pan.
- Add the onions, salt and fenugreek. Sauté until browned.
- Add the meat. Sauté until relatively dry.
- Add the butter. Cook until the butter is melted.
- Add the ginger and wine. Cook 2 minutes.
- Add the chickpea flour and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Add the remaining spices. Simmer until the meat is soft and tender.
- Serve. I garnished with a little chopped fresh cilantro out of habit, but you don't need to.