Vodka Braised Beef with Baby Bella Mushrooms
3 lbs. beef chunks (cut in 2 inch cubes)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. sea salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbs. minced fresh garlic
1/3 cup chopped celery
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1/2 cup Vodka (check for the Gluten Free varieties)
3 1/2 cup water
3 pcs. bay leaf
2 pcs. star anise pods
1 cup sliced baby Bella mushrooms
1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
1. In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic and black pepper to make a seasoning mix. Set aside 1 1/2 tsp.
2. Rub the beef chunks with the remaining seasoning mix.
3. In a heavy pot with olive oil, brown the beef in batches. You don’t have to cook it all the way thru. Just make sure you have a nice sear.
4. Using the same oil, sauté the garlic and celery until fragrant. About 2 – 3 minutes.
5. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 3 minutes. Make sure to keep on stirring to avoid burning.
6. Pour the vodka and let the alcohol evaporate for about 6 minutes.
7. Return the seared beef in the pot and add the remaining seasoning mix, star anise, bay leaf and water. Bring to boil.
8. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours or until meat is tender. Stir every 30 minutes to prevent the sauce from sticking into the pan.
9. When the meat is tender, add the mushrooms and parsley. Mix.
10. Turn off heat and let it stand for 7- 10 minutes before serving.