Berbere Beef Stew
1-1.5 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper (to taste)
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp Berbere Ethiopian Seasoning
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
2 cups beef broth
Prepare to be dazzled with this flavor-packed beef stew!
Add 1 Tbsp olive oil (reserve the second Tbsp for a later step) to a heavy pot and heat on medium-high until shimmering. Sprinkle salt and pepper on beef, and brown in batches, without crowding 1-2 minutes per side. Set browned chunks of beef aside on a plate to catch any juices while you brown the next batch. Keep heat on the lower end of medium, so meat is browned without burning, leaving stuck brown chunks of developing flavor on the bottom of the pan. Brown all the beef and set it aside before moving to the next step.
Without cleaning the pot, add the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil and the onions. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook the onions, stirring, until they begin to sweat. Make an effort to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot and incorporate their flavor into the onions. (This will become easier once the onions begin to release their moisture.) Cook onions until soft and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and berbere seasoning and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add tomato paste and sugar, and stir. Cook 2-3 minutes until a thick paste forms. Return the browned beef to the pot, add the beef broth, and heat until boiling.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Remove lid, and simmer another half hour or so, until the beef is fork tender and the stew is more of a sauce than a soup. Remove the beef chunks to a plate and use two forks to shred the meat. Return the meat to the pot, and cook for about another 15 minutes.
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Serve with Ethiopian injera if possible. If not, this stew is delicious over rice.