Beef tibs is a traditional Ethiopian dish prepared using small cubes of beef, niter kibbeh (clarified butter), vegetables (such as onions, tomatoes and green peppers), herbs, garlic, ginger and berbere spice.
Beef tibs are generally consumed with injera, a special sourdough pancake made with teff flour. There are many variations of this dish that use lamb, venison or mutton as a substitute for beef.
Origin and Cultural Significance
The exact origin of tibs is still unknown, but it is believed that they have their roots in the Aksumite Empire, similar to various other traditional Ethiopian dishes. This Ethiopian delicacy has become a staple of the country’s cuisine over the centuries.
In the past, this dish was offered to people as a symbol of respect for them. However, for a long time now, beef tibs have been a popular dish served during festivals, family gatherings and special occasions, except during the fasting periods (when the eating of meat is forbidden).
Ethiopian Beef Tibs Recipe
- Niter kibbeh (or plain unsalted butter) - 5 tbsp
- Medium-sized onions (chopped) - 2
- Knob ginger (minced) - 2 tbsp
- Garlic (minced) - 2 tbsp
- Berbere - 2 tbsp
- Kosher salt
- Beef sirloin (cut into 1-inch cubes) - 1 lb
- Vegetable oil - 1 tsp
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Begin by adding niter kibbeh or butter to a large saucepan. On a medium flame, melt the niter kibbeh and add onions, ginger, garlic, and berbere.
- Cook over medium-low heat until the onions turn dark, ruddy, and golden in colour. Make sure to stir occasionally. This should take you approximately 30 minutes. Keep in mind that the onions need to be at a low sizzle while they’re cooking. Regulate the flame accordingly.
- Place the prepared mixture in a food processor and blend until it resembles a purée. Transfer it back to the saucepan, season with salt, and keep it warm.
- Now, take the meat and season it on all sides with kosher salt. Next, take a 12-inch cast iron or stainless-steel skillet and heat oil in it over a high flame. Once the oil starts to release a little smoke, add the meat in a single layer. Make sure to leave enough open space in the pan. If you have a small skillet, you can cook the beef in batches.
- Cook the beef on one side until it is well seared. This should take you about 3 minutes.
- Once done, flip the beef cubes using tongs and let them cook for another 3 minutes.
- Keep cooking the meat until you achieve your preferred level of doneness. Remember to stir and flip occasionally.
- For rare meat, immediately place it in the saucepan containing the mixture. For medium, allow the cubes to cook for another one to two minutes before placing them in the saucepan. For well done, leave the meat to cook for an additional five minutes before finally placing it in the saucepan.
- Toss the meat with the warm sauce, then add the lemon juice and serve right away!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 478Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 625mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 45g