A couple weekends ago while I was visiting my boyfriend, we made some beef stew. For the most part, it was pretty traditional, but we added a twist by putting a vaguely Ethiopian spice blend on it. It wasn’t quite as spicy as I had originally hoped, but the spices gave it a complex, sort of sweet flavor that was extremely delicious. We ate it with the same wine we put in it, as well as some rye bread that I ended up shoveling the stew onto like it was pita. The stew tasted even better as leftovers since the flavors had more time to mix overnight.
Anyway, here’s the recipe for it. It’s super easy to make—all you really have to do is chop some vegetables and throw it in the oven.
Ethiopian Spice Beef Stew
2lbs beef stew meat, cut into large cubes
4 potatoes, peeled and in large chunks
6 carrots, peeled and in big slices
3 ribs celery, sliced
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup flour
4 small onions, cut in eighths (I’d actually recommend adding more. They cook down significantly and they’re absolutely delicious.)
5 cloves of garlic, cut into large pieces (Adding more of these can’t hurt either. They kind of disappear after sitting in the oven for a couple of hours, so you won’t be overwhelmed by them.)
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 package frozen peas
1 cup dry red wine (or as much as you want, really)
1 tbsp ginger
1 tsp Spanish paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1. Mix all the spices together in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
3. Coat a Dutch oven in a cooking oil and brown the stew beef. Make sure the heat isn’t too high so that the meat cooks all the way through. However, don’t worry if you cook it too fast; it’ll be in the oven for a long time.
4. Once the beef is brown, coat it with the flour and stir. Then add the can of tomatoes and stir them in as well. You can drain the tomatoes if you like, but it’s not necessary.
5. Add the remaining ingredients (except the peas) and the spice blend, stirring to make sure the spice blend is evenly distributed throughout the stew.
6. Cover and cook in the oven for at least 3 hours. I left mine in for almost 4 hours and it was amazingly tender. Everything fell right off my fork when I speared it. Just make sure to periodically check up on your stew while it’s cooking to make sure it doesn’t get too dry. If it’s drying out, just add some water or wine.
7. About 15 minutes before you want to serve the stew, add the peas and recover, allowing them to cook until tender. After that, remove and serve the stew.