Beef Kitfo (Ethiopian Tartare) with Injera Crisps

Ethiopian spiced butter turns Marcus Samuelsson's tartare into an indulgent holiday appetizer
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Marcus Samuelsson's Kitfo
Photo: Dave Katz/Tasting Table 

Marcus Samuelsson adds his touch to kitfo, a rich Ethiopian tartare traditionally served during rare special occasions, by brightening the buttery marbled beef with lemon, apples and anchovies. He saves the beef and apple trimmings, and throws them into the infused butter for an extra depth of flavor.

Thanks to injera, no silverware is required. This fermented Ethiopian flatbread has the texture of a thick crepe and a sourdough-like flavor, and when baked, turns into crispy cracker perfect for scooping the kitfo right up.

To learn more, read "Swede and Lowdown."

Beef Kitfo (Ethiopian Tartare) with Injera Crisps

Recipe adapted from Marcus Samuelsson, Red Rooster Harlem and Streetbird, New York, NY

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


For the Injera Crisps

2 to 4 pieces injera, roughly torn into 4-inch pieces

For the Spiced Butter:

½ cup unsalted butter

4 garlic cloves, halved

3-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced

1 jalapeño, halved

1 tablespoon ground berbere (Ethiopian spice mix)

For the Kitfo:

¼ cup unsalted butter

1 lemon, zested using a vegetable peeler and white pith removed

2 shallots, finely diced

1 small gala apple, diced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon berbere

1 pound strip loin, trimmed and diced into ¼-inch pieces (2 cups)

1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cured anchovy fillets, finely diced


1. Make the injera crisps: Preheat the oven to 325° and line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Place the injera in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake until crisp, 15 to 17 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the spiced butter: In a large sauté pan, combine the spiced butter ingredients and place over low heat, slowly melting and infusing the butter for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. Make the kitfo: In a separate large sauté pan, melt the butter with the lemon zest over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the shallots and cook until translucent, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the apple, lemon juice, mustard and berbere, stirring to mix together, and cook 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

4. Strain the spiced butter into a large bowl and discard the solids. Reserve the sauté pan as is, without wiping clean, and return to medium-high heat. Place the beef in a large bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Add half of the beef mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 seconds. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of the spiced butter and cook 30 seconds more, then remove from the heat and pour back into the remaining raw beef mixture. Fold in the apple-shallot mixture and anchovies, and stir just until combined. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt. Don't overmix.

5. To serve, place a few pieces of injera crisps on a plate and top with the kitfo.

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