Last updated on September 6th, 2023
Stovetop braised beef tips with gravy are slowly simmered until fork tender in a rich gravy loaded with onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms.
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I have a confession to make. Prior to this recipe, my husband called my beef tips bland.
Ouch, that hurts. But he’s right. Beef tips were always an afterthought. Something I threw together if stew meat was on sale and I had run out of meal plan ideas. I simply browned my meat in a skillet with a little soy sauce because that’s how my mama did it.
I decided to give this recipe a complete overhaul. Cajun and Creole cooking influenced my use of bell pepper and onions, while a recipe for Mississippi pot roast (and this Mississippi girl has no idea where the name came from) inspired me to incorporate butter for a velvety texture and pepperoncini peppers for added flavor and to help tenderize the meat. Finally, I adore mushrooms with gravy — that was a given.
So what did the husband think of this complete recipe overhaul? Not bland anymore! And now that I have his stamp of approval, this recipe will become a top contender instead of a last minute after thought.
What is the best cut of meat for beef tips?
Technically speaking, actual beef tips are made by cutting up leftover pieces of beef tenderloin or sirloin. The meat is more tender and does not require a long cooking time … but, it can be a bit pricey.
To save money, I used stew meat. It’s cut from tougher cuts of meat, but we’re simmering the beef over low heat for over an hour. This gives the protein and tough connective tissues in the meat time to soften and break down. If you want to cube your own beef, I recommend purchasing a round or chuck roast. Grocery stores often put these types of roasts on sale. Also, check if your store has a section for meat that’s a day or two from reaching its expiration date. Stores often sell these items at a huge discount to keep from having to throw the meat out once it expires.
What is braising?
Braising is a cooking method in which cuts of meat are first seared, then cooked in some type of liquid over low heat for an extended period of time. It’s well suited for tough cuts of meat, but it can also be used for cooking chicken or pork.
Ingredients and tools you will need
Braised beef tips with gravy only requires ten ingredients, all of which can easily be found at your local grocery store. To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1.5 pounds of stew meat
- ½ cup of diced onion
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups of beef broth
- 3 whole pepperoncini peppers
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1 (.87 ounce) envelope brown gravy mix
- Large stock pot or Dutch oven
Brown the beef
Heat the oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Generously season the stew meat with salt and pepper. Add the stew meat to the hot oil and brown for 5-7 minutes.
You may have to work in batches, depending on how big your pot is, to allow the beef fat to render off efficiently and the meat to brown. If you try to add the beef all at once, it will produce too much liquid and you’ll end up with gray meat instead of brown meat. If you do have to work in batches, be sure to drain off any excess grease before adding the next batch of stew meat.
Cook the vegetables
Add the onions, bell peppers and mushrooms. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 3-5 minutes. If your mushrooms are large, you might want to break them up into smaller pieces with a spoon. Next, add the minced garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
Add the braising liquid
Next, pour in the beef broth. If any bits from the beef have stuck to the bottom of the pan, use your spoon to scrape them up. Stir in the packet of brown gravy mix. Place the pepperoncini peppers and the butter on top.
Simmer the beef tips
Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and simmer for one hour and 15 minutes. Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium and simmer the liquid for another 15 minutes to allow the gravy to thicken. The gravy will continue to thicken the longer it sets, so you could remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for an additional 10-15 minutes before serving.
Remove the peppers and serve
Before serving, remove the pepperoncini peppers with a slotted spoon. You can throw them away or you can cut off the stems, chop them up and add them back to the beef tips. Serve the braised beef tips and gravy over egg noodles, cooked white rice or mashed potatoes.
Storage, freezing and reheating
Storage. Braised beef tips with gravy should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator within two hours. Consume within 3-5 days.
Freezing. Transfer the beef tips to an airtight freezer container or freezer bag. Be sure to leave some room for expansion. If using a freezer bag, fold the top of the bag over to remove excess air. Consume within three months.
Reheating. If frozen, allow the beef tips to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer to a medium saucepan, cover and simmer over medium low heat until the gravy is bubbling and the beef tips are heated through. Cooking over low heat rather than high heat prevents the beef tips from becoming overcooked and mushy.
Frequently asked questions
Could I add wine to the braising liquid?
Yes! You can replace up to a 1/2 cup of the beef broth with a red wine of your choice. I suggest using a Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir.
Can I used leftover meat that’s already been cooked?
Yes, skip browning the beef since it’s already cooked and follow the instructions as usual.
Can I skip searing the beef and just add everything to the pot?
You can, but I don’t recommend it. Not only does browning the meat add flavor, but it renders out a lot of the fat beforehand. You may end up with more liquid and grease in your dish if you skip this step.
Can I brown my beef the night before?
According the the USDA, it is not safe to partially cook meat and then store it in the refrigerator for later use.
Can I start with frozen stew meat?
I don’t recommend starting with frozen stew meat. You won’t be able to get a good sear on the outside of the meat. For reasons stated above, I don’t recommend skipping the sear. It will also affect your cook time.
Can I cook the noodles or rice with the beef tips?
It’s very easy to overcook noodles or rice. Also, when storing leftovers, the noodles or rice will absorb all the liquid from the dish. For best results, I recommend cooking and storing egg noodles or rice separately.
Will the pepperoncini peppers make this dish spicy?
No, pepperoncini peppers are mild and will not make this dish spicy.
Stovetop Braised Beef Tips with Gravy
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 pounds stew meat
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 medium green bell pepper diced
- 8 ounces sliced white mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 3 whole pepperoncini peppers
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 (.87 ounce) envelope brown gravy mix
- Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat.
- Season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Add the meat to the oil and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes. You may need to brown the beef in batches to get a good sear. If so, drain any accumulated grease between batches.
- Add the onion, bell peppers and mushrooms to the pot and sauté until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add the broth to the pot and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the pepperoncini peppers, butter, and brown gravy mix. Stir to combine.
- Bring the broth to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Remove the lid and let the liquid simmer for an additional 15 minutes to thicken up the gravy.
- Remove the pepperoncini peppers before serving. Discard the pepper or remove the stems, chop them up and add them back into the pot.
- Season the beef tips with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over hot egg noodles, rice or mashed potatoes.