100 Favorite Dishes, No. 17: The Raw Kitfo at Desta Ethiopian Restaurant

Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2016 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

Ethiopian Orthodox Christians follow a vegan fast for over half the calendar year, and nothing says it’s time to feast like raw meat and spicy butter. If you’ve never had kitfo before, just think of it as steak tartare from the cradle of humanity: lean raw ground beef mixed with nit’ir (a clarified butter similar to ghee) and the dusky, peppery spice blend berbere. There’s no shortage of Ethiopian restaurants along Greenville Avenue to serve you kitfo, but our favorite comes from the kitchen of Desta.

Desta serves their kitfo in a small bowl with bowls of cheese and berbere on the side, all plated on an unfurled slice of the spongy, sourdough flatbread injera. Texans will be impressed by the heat index on the berbere; just a few teaspoons will add spiciness without overpowering the complex flavors at work in the meat. Additional injera rolls come on a separate plate; tear off a piece, pinch a bite of kitfo and revel in the interplay of primal protein with some of the oldest flavors in the world. 

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