Beef and Chard Stir Fry with Berbere and Toasted Couscous

Stir frying is a great technique that doesn’t need to be reserved for strictly asian flavors. Here, beef and chard are stir fried with pine nuts, lemon, and lots of north african spices. Served on top of toasted pearl couscous with apricots and oregano, it’s a balanced and easy high protein dinner.


  • This recipe is fairly flexible: replace the beef with a protein of your choice or omit it all together and top with a poached egg.

Serves 2-3


For the couscous

  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ cup pearl couscous 
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or 1 cup water mixed with better than bouillon base)
  • 1 pinch cinnamon 
  • 4 turkish dried apricots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter (omit for dairy free)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped oregano 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the stir fry

  • ½ pound flank steak
  • 1 bunch red or rainbow chard
  • Canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1.5 tbsp berbere (or more to taste)
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Full fat yogurt, for serving
  • Sumac for dusting (optional)
  1. Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper and slice into semi-thin strips, set aside. 
  2. Using a knife, remove the chard leaves from the stems. Slice the stems into ½ inch strips. Roll the leaves and slice into a rough chiffonade. 
  3. In a small pot, heat ½ tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the couscous and saute for 1 minute before turning the heat to low. Continue to saute, stirring semi regularly, until all the pearls are toasty brown- 4-6 minutes. 
  4. Add the broth, a pinch of cinnamon, and plenty of salt, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to low, and cook until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. 
  5. Heat a wok or large cast iron skillet until very hot. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and then the steak, making sure not to crowd the pan.
  6. Let the steak cook undisturbed for about a minute, or until very browned on one side. Stir and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes until all sides are seared. You don’t want it fully cooked through at this point. 
  7. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside. 
  8. Turn the heat to medium and add more oil if needed. Add the garlic and the chard stems and saute for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt. 
  9. Add the pine nuts and saute for another 30 seconds. 
  10. Add the steak back to the pan, along with the spices, and toss until completely covered in the spice mixture. 
  11. Turn the heat back to high and add the chard leaves and toss until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and the juice of 1 lemon. 
  12. When the couscous is done, remove from heat and add the butter, apricots, and oregano and toss to combine. 
  13. Serve the stir fry on top of the couscous and top with a dollop of yogurt and a dusting of sumac.