Tender chunks of beef in a perfectly thickened sauce makes a wonderful dinner. I really wonderful dinner. The really part comes from this being so very, very, easy to make. The first time I had key wat, or any other Ethiopian food, I was at a tiny neighborhood place. The lady there spoke absolutely no English and yet we managed to figure out what we wanted and tell her that we loved her cooking. Key wat was the highlight of the restaurant though all of them were good. I particularly liked the salad that was served with it, it was refreshing after the spiced food.
2 lb. stew beef
1 large white onions
4 cloves garlic
lots of oil
3 Tbsp. berbere
1 can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 c. water
3 beef bouillon cubes
In a cast iron pot with a lid, heat a generous amount of olive oil. Season the beef with salt and pepper nd sear in small batches, don't crowd the pan. Remove the meat from the pan when browned on one or two sides to make room for more cubes.
While that is cooking chop the onions really fine in a food processor or cheese grater. When the beef is done remove the last of it from the pan and add more oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onion starts to turn brown. Add the garlic, tomato sauce, and berebere. Cook, stirring, for five minutes.
Add the meat and remaining ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover with the pot lid and place in the oven.
Cook at 300 for two hours. Open the lid and stir and check how tender the meat is at this point. My meat was cooked but not tender and the sauce was still thin. I was worried about it thickening up and almost added a slurry but I'm glad I didn't.
Return the lid to the pot and place in the oven for another hour. The last hour was magic. Them eat got tender and, the sauce got thick, and the spice leveled out to a nice warm heat that wasn't over bearing.
Serve over injera or rice.