Like us on Facebook!

David Lissner
for restaurants

Eat this! Kitfo, Ethiopia’s answer to steak tartare

Ethiopian Diamond's kitfo.

Ethiopian Diamond's kitfo.

What it is: Kitfo is seasoned chopped beef, mixed with ground chilies and herbed butter. Often served raw (kitfo tere), it may also be lightly sauteed (kitfo lebleb) or cooked till well-done (kitfo yebesele). The name means “to chop finely; mince.”

Almaz Yigizaw

Almaz Yigizaw

Where it comes from: Kitfo originated with Gurage people of Ethiopia’s southern Showa province.

What to do with it: If you intend to serve the kitfo raw, buy whole cuts of beef, freeze just till firm and cut in chunks, then process a bit at a time in a food processor or mince with a large knife. You can also put the meat through a meat grinder, although that results in a softer texture. Do not buy packaged ground beef unless you’re planning to cook it thoroughly.

Kitfo is traditionally served atop spongy injera flatbread, accompanied by cottage cheese and cooked greens, as Chef Almaz Yigizaw offers it at the Ethiopian Diamond restaurants in Edgewater and Rogers Park. Gurage cooks serve it with kocho, a thicker Ethiopian bread.

Ethiopian Diamond’s kitfo
Seasoned chopped beef (Ethiopian steak tartare)
Chef Almaz Yigizaw

1/2 pound beef knuckle or chuck, freshly chopped
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
l/4 teaspoon cardamom
2-l/2 teaspoons melted herbed butter
Mitmitta (dried ground chilies), garlic and salt to taste

Combine all ingredients, mixing for about 5 minutes. Serve raw or saute to desired doneness. 2 servings.

More recipes