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Eritrean / Ethiopian Beef Stew — Tsebhi Sga or Key Wet


Ingredients:

  • 3medium red onions
  • 1⁄2cup spiced butter (also know as tesmi or kbe)
  • 1⁄4cup chili paste (also know as d'lk, a hot chili mixed with water, oil and spices)
  • 1cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2lbs beef (preferably a beef brisket or any cut of your favorite beef)
  • water

Directions:

  • Chop onions into small fine pieces.
  • Heat a shallow deep pan, about 3 to 4 inches deep.
  • Add half of the spiced butter.
  • Once butter is melted add the chopped onions and cook it until the onion is caramelized.
  • Be sure not to burn the onions, keep stirring!
  • Add the chili paste to the cooked onions.
  • Mix it well by adding a drop of water at a time as needed.
  • Cook for about 15 minutes by adding a drop of water as you stir to stop it from drying.
  • Add tomatoes and cook for about 30 minutes more stirring it often and adding a drop of water as needed to prevent it from drying out.
  • Cut beef into small bite sizes, about ½ inch cubes.
  • Add beef to the cooking paste and cook covered for about 20 minutes or until it is cooked fully.
  • Add the remainder of the spiced butter and mix well.
  • Let cook of about 5 more minutes.
  • Depending on your personal desire, you may add more water to bring it to the consistency you like.

Reviews:

  • Manzana

    I follow the recipe but the meat came out way too hard. My husband couldnt eat it and I had to throw it in the trash.

  • fashoemaker

    in college I stayed with a group of Eritrean students in Geneva Switzerland. They served this amazing dish, I think in a traditional homestyle setting. With very little furniture in the room, they spread newspapers on the living room floor. Then they poured a huge pot of Kay Wat on the newspaper. We each took a strip of crusty bread and used it to pinch up a big mouth full of yummy. Thank you too Berhane, Melaku, Karen, and all the my terrific hosts from Asmara. That was 38 years ago and I still love the memories.

  • kathyboschmann

    I anonymously prepared this dish for an Ethiopian family newly arrived to Canada as a welcome to the neighbourhood gift. They wondered if an Ethiopian had prepared it! Thanks for the recipe. It is delicious. Kathy

  • Sackville

    Wow, what a rich and wonderful stew. I was a bit worried in the early stages because the sauce was quite dry and I kept on having to add water to keep it from burning but once I added the tomatoes it got a bit better and during the last 20 minutes of cooking with the beef the gravy really started to form. When I added the butter it made an absolutely lucious sauce! This is a dish that takes a bit of time because you have to closely watch it during the first two stages and you’re constantly stirring but it’s definitely worth it. For the spiced butter I used Spiced Butter for Ethiopian Cooking and for the chili paste, I made up a batch of Berbere paste as I thought it sounded like the same thing.

  • Lizard SF

    I was able to reduce some of the cooking times — I did steps 8 and 9 about half as long as suggested — and it still came out fine. I used chili garlic paste mixed with sweet thai chili paste and it was a bit too much, so I ended up doubling the tomato to balance it. If you use the right kind of chili paste, it will probably work better. Regardless of the changes, this came out wonderful. It smelled marvelous, and waiting for it to finish stewing was torturous. It was very easy to make, and I strongly recommend it.

  • fashoemaker

    in college I stayed with a group of Eritrean students in Geneva Switzerland. They served this amazing dish, I think in a traditional homestyle setting. With very little furniture in the room, they spread newspapers on the living room floor. Then they poured a huge pot of Kay Wat on the newspaper. We each took a strip of crusty bread and used it to pinch up a big mouth full of yummy. Thank you too Berhane, Melaku, Karen, and all the my terrific hosts from Asmara. That was 38 years ago and I still love the memories.

  • Manzana

    I follow the recipe but the meat came out way too hard. My husband couldnt eat it and I had to throw it in the trash.

  • kathyboschmann

    I anonymously prepared this dish for an Ethiopian family newly arrived to Canada as a welcome to the neighbourhood gift. They wondered if an Ethiopian had prepared it! Thanks for the recipe. It is delicious. Kathy

  • Sackville

    Wow, what a rich and wonderful stew. I was a bit worried in the early stages because the sauce was quite dry and I kept on having to add water to keep it from burning but once I added the tomatoes it got a bit better and during the last 20 minutes of cooking with the beef the gravy really started to form. When I added the butter it made an absolutely lucious sauce! This is a dish that takes a bit of time because you have to closely watch it during the first two stages and you’re constantly stirring but it’s definitely worth it. For the spiced butter I used Spiced Butter for Ethiopian Cooking and for the chili paste, I made up a batch of Berbere paste as I thought it sounded like the same thing.

  • Lizard SF

    I was able to reduce some of the cooking times — I did steps 8 and 9 about half as long as suggested — and it still came out fine. I used chili garlic paste mixed with sweet thai chili paste and it was a bit too much, so I ended up doubling the tomato to balance it. If you use the right kind of chili paste, it will probably work better. Regardless of the changes, this came out wonderful. It smelled marvelous, and waiting for it to finish stewing was torturous. It was very easy to make, and I strongly recommend it.

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