This hearty dinner recipe combines beef with bell pepper, carrots, chickpeas, and Ethiopian berbere seasoning—a spice blend of up to twenty ingredients including chile, paprika, ginger, and garlic. The result is a fragrant stew that will perk up winter palates and delight the senses. To soak up every delicious drop, serve it over a bed of fluffy couscous.

Martha Stewart Living, January/February 2020


Credit: Con Poulos

Recipe Summary

40 mins
3 hrs 25 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Generously season beef with salt and pepper. Dust with flour and shake off excess. Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high, and swirl in 2 tablespoons oil.

  • Add half of beef in a single layer and cook, turning a few times, until browned in places, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate, leaving fat in pot. Brown remaining beef; transfer to plate.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Swirl remaining 1 tablespoon oil into pot, still over medium-high heat. Cook onion and bell pepper until onions are golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and berbere seasoning and cook, stirring frequently, until tomato paste is caramelized, 1 minute. Add Worcestershire sauce and wine; boil until mostly evaporated.

  • Return beef and any accumulated juices to pot along with broth. Bring to a boil. Cover pot, transfer to oven, and cook 1 1/2 hours. Remove pot from oven and stir carrots into stew. Cover and continue cooking in oven until beef is fork-tender and carrots are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 1 hour more. Stir in chickpeas; return to oven for 5 minutes more, just to heat through.

  • Ladle stew into shallow bowls, sprinkle with mint, and serve. Cooled stew can be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated up to 2 days, or frozen up to 3 months.

Cook's Notes

Beef chuck is our preferred cut for this recipe because of its marbling; the fat imbues the broth with a buttery taste as it melts. Lamb shoulder is also a great substitute for the beef in this recipe.



Rating: 5.0 stars
I absolutely LOVE berbere spice! It's not easy to find in the US but, you CAN order it online. Shop around for the best price because you will find a wide difference. I have seen it for $14.95 for one OUNCE and $16.95 for one POUND! I buy it by the pound because I use it in a lot of my dishes; mainly the national dish of Ethiopia - Doro Wot! Keep in mind that berbere is a bit spicy because it is mainly a red chili spice - quite similar to a mix of cayenne and paprika so, if you are not into spicy/hot foods you can just leave this out or just add half. You can always add more but, once it's in there - it's IN there. Enjoy! And don't be afraid to experiment with berbere!