Ethiopian Beef and Mushroom Stew

We got hit with some major snow and ice down here in North Carolina this week, and there were threats of power outages (Raleigh got a little out of control), so I decided to cook some food in advance to make sure I didn’t get stuck eating Larabars and bananas with nothing pre-made in my fridge.

I had bought some new spice mixtures from Wholefoods that week, and one of the new ones I bought is called Berbere, which is a traditional Ethiopian spice blend that usually contains some kind of hot pepper, fenugreek, cloves, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon. I love Ethiopian food, and Berbere goes really well in slow cooked meat and legume dishes. I decided to try it out on a 16-ounce grass fed beef shank that I’d picked up from WholeFoods as well.


Shank is one of my favorite cuts of meat because if you cook it the right way, it comes out incredibly tender. Shank also usually has some gelatinous tissue on it as well, which breaks down during slow cooking to create a juicy, melt-in-your-mouth meat dish.

You can also use lamb shanks in this recipe, which are my absolute favorite… in fact I would have used lamb except Wholefoods had run out of lamb shanks that day! I can’t complain though, because the final beef recipe was just as delicious.


The slow cooker I use is the Hamilton Beach Stovetop Slow Cooker, which I absolutely LOVE because you can pull out the pot from its base and put it on the stovetop to sear the meat, which leaves the meat much more flavorful and seals in moisture, leading to a juicier meat when it’s done cooking. It also saves dishes, which is crucial for me because I truthfully hate doing dishes and the less I use while cooking, the better! This is truly an all-in-one product and I definitely think it’s worth the extra money to get a more versatile crock pot.

Enjoy the recipe!

Ethiopian Beef and Mushroom Stew

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Number of servings: 4

Per Serving 236 calories

Fat 9 g

Carbs 9 g

Protein 31 g


This Ethiopian-inspired slow cooked stew is perfect for cold winter nights. It has a hint of spicy warmth from the Berbere spice mix, and the mushrooms add an additional meaty texture. By slow cooking the beef shank, you end up with a tender meat that tastes delicious!


  • 16-20 oz grass-fed beef shank
  • 2 Tbs Berbere (Ethiopian spice mix)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup organic tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms (e.g. portobello, button, shitaki)
  • 3 cups collard greens (can substitute kale)
  • 1 Tbs light olive oil
  • 2-3 cups water


  1. Add olive oil to large frying pan on medium heat. After oil heats up, lay beef shank in pan to brown.
  2. Add garlic and onions to pan.
  3. Sprinkle 1 Tbs of Berbere onto top of meat. Stir onions and garlic and allow to soften.
  4. After browning for a minute or two, flip meat over and brown other side. Add remaining 1 Tbs of Berbere to cooked side of meat. Continue stirring onions and garlic.
  5. Once meat has been browned, transfer entire contents of pan into large crockpot.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato sauce to crockpot, along with 2-3 cups of water until meat is about 3/4 covered with liquid. Put lid on crockpot.
  7. Set crockpot on medium-high heat for 6 hours.
  8. Once 5 1/2 hours have elapsed (30 minutes remaining), prepare mushrooms and collards by washing and cutting, and add to crockpot. Stir contents of crockpot thoroughly, and re-cover with lid. Allow to cook on medium-high eat for another 30 minutes, or until greens are wilted.
  9. Serve in a bowl on top of rice, cauliflower rice, buckwheat groats, or on its own. Enjoy!

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  • rs711

    “light olive oil” ? —> there is no such thing. Olive oil is olive oil – calorie dense, strong tasting monounsaturated goodness…. If you buy something that says “light olive oil” on it (especially in the US) then you’re likely consuming adulterated oil (soybean, corn or canola oils)…quite inflammatory & very unhealhty

    Cooking with oliive oil is “OK” if you ran out of butter, ghee, lard, coconut oil, red palm oil, duckfat (not ideal)…it’ll denature the oil (yes, even before smoking point) and it’ll lose its subtle tastes and most health benefits

    • Laura Schoenfeld, MPH, RD

      I was under the impression that “light” olive oil was simply olive oil that had been filtered to remove sediment and thus raise the smoke point?

      • rs711

        Well…depends on who you ask. Poking around on the interwebz it refers to the degree of clarity (as you said – % of sediment) OR on the concentration of FFAs in it…the latter implies that the oil will be ‘modified’ – doing so would require adding other polyunsaturated oils (likely vegetable oils) or hydrolyzing the olive oil to some extent (unsure how’d they do that exactly).
        Either way, I wouldn’t drink anything but extra virgin olive oil with a verifiable certification & sourcing – not because I’m a snob, but because it’s become ever clearer how pervasive adulterated olive oil has become in the US (& elsewhere to be fair). See: &

        Here (South of France/Italy, where I live) all “real”/quality olive oils ALWAYS come in a dark bottle (to protect the degradation of its delicate & lovely phenolic compounds) and there is no such thing as “light”. There may be some which are thick & cloudy and some which are clearer & finer – they differ in taste & texture. But none are ‘light’, all are (or should be) mechanically cold pressed. Usually, the olives are also carefully selected & not mixed in with the olive ‘stones’ if it’s a quality oil.

        • Laura Schoenfeld, MPH, RD

          Thanks for the info! I’ll adjust the recipe.

          • rs711

            Coolio :)

            Btw, your recipe looks delicious! My Moms home-grown tomatoes will be perfect for it.

            Next time I’ll try leading with that…

  • Buttoni

    This sounds delicious! kI do an Ethiopian Beef dish as well, but your addition of collards intrigues me! I will definitely try yours out sometime!

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  • Rivka Freeman

    Ethiopian spice Berbere has everything hot pepper fenugreek cloves coriander cumin cinnamon to help you mix right in the cloves won’t seem too strong and this recipe can be #Vegan every day!
    In the merit of #Passover power to win over obstacles B*H all animals live pasture raised for eating and feasting at the Creator’s chosen place in Israel for #Passover Weeks and Tabernacles holidays!!!