Dyslexic Befe From Ethiopia



1½ pounds sirloin, lamb, or venison
1 red onion or 2 yellow onions
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro
2 tomatoes
5 garlic cloves
¼ cup niter kibbeh*, ghee*, or butter
2 tablespoons Berbere* spice
4 teaspoons ginger
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup red wine
1 teaspoon lemon juice

* = May be found in ethnic supermarkets or online.



Serves 6. Takes 50 minutes.


Cut sirloin into 1″ cubes. Use mandoline or knife to slice red onion ⅛” thick. Dice cilantro and tomatoes. Mince garlic cloves. Melt niter kibbeh using medium heat. Add Berbere spice, garlic, ginger, and onion to 1st large pan. Sauté for 3 minutes at medium heat. Stir frequently.

Add vegetable oil and sirloin cubes to 2nd large pan. Leave space between sirloin cubes. (You might have to cook in batches.) Sauté cubes at medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until they are seared on the bottom. Flip the cubes over and sear on the new bottom side for 2 minutes. Continue to turn sirloin cubes until you get your desired level of doneness..

Add sirloin cubes to 1st large pan with the sautéed onion. Add cilantro, tomato, pepper, salt, and red wine. Simmer at medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir enough to prevent burning. Add lemon juice. Stir until well blended. Dish goes well with injera or other flatbread.


1) This dish, Tibs, is made from sirloin cubes or sirloin bits. This dish was called Sirloin Bits, at first. But, Sirloin Bits got shortened to Bits. A dyslexic man typed Bits instead of Tibs on a restaurant’s menu. Diners everywhere loved this food. So we now label this entree, Tibs.


Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.


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