Burnt butter kitfo and Ethiopian honey bread

Posted on 6 May 2020

Kitfo is the Ethiopian equivalent of ‘steak tartare,’ traditionally a marinated mince dish with butter and a variety of spices. Getaway’s version calls for roughly chopped flavoursome picanha, burnt butter, micro greens and Yemarina Yewotet Dabo (traditional honey bread) for good measure.

Recipes & styling by Chiara Turilli

Image: Samantha Pinto


Serves 4–6

For the kitfo:

¼ cup butter
¼ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, grated
4t cayenne pepper
500g picanha, cut into ½cm blocks
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Salt and pepper
1 cup micro herbs
6 moulds or ramekins

For the bread:

¼ cup lukewarm water
½T dry yeast
¼ cup honey
2½ cups cake flour
½ cup milk, lukewarm
½t coriander powder
¼t cinnamon
Pinch ground clove
Pinch ground ginger
1t salt
2T butter, room temperature
4T cooking oil
1 egg
1t fennel seeds


1. For the kitfo, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat until foamy and nutty brown in colour, about 7 minutes. Add the olive oil and garlic and immediately pour into a heatproof bowl. Stir through the cayenne and allow to cool. Reserve some of the butter mixture for serving.
2. Place the meat in a bowl and mix through the butter mixture. Add spring onions and season to taste.
3. Pack the meat mixture into moulds and set in the fridge for about 5 minutes.
4. Tip out onto serving plates, spoon over the remaining burnt butter sauce and sprinkle with micro herbs.
5. For the bread, put the water, yeast and 1t of honey into a bowl. Gently stir until combined and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
6. In a stand mixer, add 1 cup of flour, milk, spices, remaining honey, salt, butter and the yeast mixture.
7. Gently mix all the ingredients until combined. Gradually add the rest of the flour.
8. Knead the dough for 8 minutes until smooth and elastic.
9. Place the dough into a greased bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise until doubled in size (about 90 minutes).
10. Grease an oven tray with 2T of oil.
11. Once the dough has risen, deflate it gently by hand and knead for a minute.
12. Form a ball and place it on the greased baking pan. Cover the pan with a damp cloth and let it rise again for about 30 minutes until puffy.
13. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
14. Score the top of the bread. Whisk the egg and 1T oil and lightly brush bread, then sprinkle with fennel seeds.
15. Bake the bread for 50 minutes or until golden brown. It should sound hollow when tapped.
16. Let it cool completely on a wire rack before serving with the kitfo.


Kitfo is a delicately flavoured dish which is also served with crunchy melba toast. The dough can be made by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer. Score the bread to allow space for it to rise in the oven and cook more evenly.

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