Coffee Berbere Braised Beef Tacos with Cantaloupe Salsa

    Beef cooked with coffee, butter, and a berbere spice blend until tender and served on tacos with a refreshing cantaloupe, mint, and radish salsa.


    • 2 pounds beef chuck
    • 1 cup Coffee
    • 1/4 cup Milk
    • 2 tablespoons berbere
    • 2 tablespoons Honey
    • 2 tablespoons Butter
    • 5 cloves Garlic
    • Salt and Pepper
    • 2 cups chopped cantaloupe
    • 1/2 cup sliced radish
    • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
    • 1 Shallot minced
    • 1 clove Garlic grated
    • 20 Chopped Mint chopped
    • Lots of Salt and Pepper
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • juice of 1 lime
    • Corn Tortillas
    • cotija or other crumbled cheese


    1. Mix the beef ingredients in an oven safe pan. Cover and bake at 300 for two and a half hours until the meat is fork tender. Remove from oven, mash the garlic cloves, and shred the meat right in the pan with the sauce.
    2. Mix the salsa ingredients and set aside.
    3. Toast the tortillas in a dry frying pan for about 1 minute per side.
    4. Serve with the meat first, then the cheese, then top with the salsa.


    I got some berbere spice recently when I was cooking from one of my favorite new cookbooks, Ethiopia. One of my faves from the book is a beef stir fry with the berbere spice and lots of honey and butter. I thought it would be fun to incorporate these flavors into one of my favorite braised taco dishes that cooks the meat in coffee. I added the berbere spice along with honey and butter to the pan and the tacos came out amazing and had a ton of depth to them. I topped it with a refreshing cantaloupe salsa to balance out the intense heavy flavors in the meat. These were the best tacos I have had in a while – the flavors were really balanced and they felt traditional but with unique twist.

    Meat in the pan with the coffee, spices, honey, and butter.

    The salsa was cantaloupe, radish, bell pepper, shallot, mint, garlic, lemon, and lime.

    After cooking about two and a half hours the meat is tender and shreddy.

    The refreshing salsa balances the deep, bitter, and heavy meat flavors.

    A tasty dish that is perfect for this time of the year!