This Beef Tips and Gravy recipe is made with tender sirloin or hearty stew meat, smothered in rich homemade brown gravy. This classic dish is the epitome of comforting and delicious, making it a perfect choice for family dinners. Pair it with mashed potatoes, cornbread, or any of your favorite sides.
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What Are Beef Tips/Type of Beef to Use
It’s essential to use a cut of beef that is both tender and flavorful. Here are some recommended cuts:
- Beef Sirloin: Sirloin tips are a popular choice due to their tenderness and good flavor. You can use top sirloin or bottom sirloin for this dish.
- Beef Tenderloin: This is one of the most tender cuts of beef, but it can be on the expensive side. However, it will yield very tender and succulent beef tips.
- Beef Chuck: Chuck roast or chuck steak is a more affordable option, and when cut into small pieces and cooked properly, it can be quite tender and flavorful.
- Beef Round: Round steak or round roast can also be used, especially if you’re on a budget. It’s leaner but can still be tender if cooked correctly.
- Beef Ribeye: Ribeye steak is another option for those who want rich, well-marbled meat. It will provide a lot of flavor and tenderness.
You can also use “stew meat” as it is often labeled in grocery stores. Keep in mind stew meat and most beef tips are not the most tender cuts of beef. If you are looking for super tender beef check out my Southern Soul Food Oxtail and Garlic Butter Prime Rib recipes.
When using these cuts, be sure to cut the meat into bite-sized pieces or “tips” before cooking.
How to Shop
- Grade of Beef: Consider the grade of beef. In the United States, beef is graded by the USDA. Higher grades like Prime and Choice are more marbled and tender. Select is a leaner grade. The choice of grade can impact the final flavor and tenderness of your beef tips.
- Inspect the Meat: Examine the beef tips for freshness. Look for meat that is bright red in color and has minimal discoloration. Avoid any meat that appears gray or has an off-putting odor, as this could indicate spoilage.
- Marbling: Check for marbling, which is the distribution of fat within the meat. More marbling generally leads to a juicier and more flavorful result. Look for thin streaks of fat throughout the beef.
- Packaging: Check the packaging for any leaks or damage. Ensure that the packaging is intact and that there are no punctures or tears that could compromise the meat’s freshness.
How to Make Beef Tips and Gravy
Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Place a Dutch oven or soup pot on the stove at medium-high heat. Add olive oil.
- Add the sliced beef along with the spices.
- Sear both sides of the meat. Once you have seared the meat, remove it from the pot and set it aside.
- Adjust the heat on the stove to medium heat. Add in the onions and garlic.
- Add butter to the pot. Stir and allow it to melt.
- Add in the flour. Add it in stages and stir continuously to avoid clumping.
- Add in broth and Worcestershire sauce, and stir until the gravy begins to thicken.
- Add the seared beef back to the pot. Adjust the heat to low and simmer.
How to Prevent Tough Overcooked Meat
- Cut the Meat Properly: Cut the beef into uniform, bite-sized pieces. This ensures even cooking, so some pieces don’t overcook while others remain undercooked.
- Searing: Before simmering the beef in the gravy, sear it in a hot pan or pot with a little oil. Searing creates a flavorful crust and locks in the meat’s juices.
- Low and Slow: Cook the beef at a gentle simmer. Low and slow cooking methods help break down collagen in tougher cuts, making the meat tender.
- Use Moist Heat: Make sure there’s enough liquid/gravy to cover the meat while it cooks.
- Avoid Overstirring: Stirring the beef tips too frequently can break them down and make them tough. Stir only as needed to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
How to Thicken the Gravy
Flour is used to thicken the gravy. You can also use cornstarch, but I find flour works much better for this dish.
Cook Time/How Long to Cook
The total cook time will ultimately depend on your preference and desired texture for the meat. Beef tips and stew meat are meant to be cooked low and slow for optimal texture. The meat will be safe to eat rather quickly. If you want you can simmer the dish for 30 minutes and it will still taste great.
If you want to optimize the texture, you will need to simmer the dish for 1-2 hours until fork tender. Sometimes maybe even a little longer.
Worcestershire sauce adds a complex, rich flavor to beef dishes. It contains a subtle sweetness along with its savory notes, which can help balance the overall flavor of the beef, especially in dishes that have sweet or rich elements like caramelized onions or gravy.
It contains acidic ingredients (like vinegar) that can help break down proteins and make the meat more tender.
Feel free to omit it if you wish, but note the benefits you may lose if you do. You can use soy sauce or balsamic vinegar as well.
What Type of Pan/Pot to Use
- Dutch Oven: A Dutch oven is one of the best choices. These heavy, thick-walled pots are designed to conduct and retain heat efficiently. They come in various sizes, and the tight-fitting lid helps trap moisture and flavor, creating tender and flavorful meat.
- Cast Iron Pot: Similar to a Dutch oven, a cast iron pot is excellent. Cast iron has excellent heat retention and even heat distribution, resulting in tender and succulent meat.
- Braising Pan: A braising pan, also known as a braiser, is a wide, shallow pot with a tight-fitting lid. It’s designed specifically for braising. The wide surface area allows for browning the meat evenly before braising.
How to Use a Slow Cooker
You can also cook this dish for 7-8 hours on Low in a Crockpot. Simmer the beef and onions in broth as opposed to simmering the beef in gravy. Use enough broth to completely cover the meat. Once the meat has cooked and is tender, you can make gravy using the beef drippings in the Crockpot.
Follow the instructions in my Turkey Gravy From Drippings recipe.
How to Store
You can store the dish tightly covered and sealed in the fridge for 3-4 days.
How to Reheat
You can reheat the dish in the microwave or on the stove. You can also use the oven or air fryer at 250 degrees until warm.
Be careful not to overheat, it will dry out the beef.
You can freeze the dish tightly covered and sealed for 2-3 months. Thaw and defrost overnight in the fridge.
Pair With These Recipes
Southern Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole with Bacon
Slow Cooker Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes
Au Gratin Potatoes with Bacon and Cheese
Slow Cooker Crockpot Mac and Cheese
Southern Cornbread Dressing with Chicken
Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey
More Beef Recipes
Beef Tips and Gravy
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 – 2 pounds beef tips/stew meat
- 1/2 tablespoon Creole Seasoning You can substitute using your favorite beef rub if preferred.
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup diced onions I used white onions
- 2-3 garlic cloves Minced.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2-2 cups broth Any broth: beef, chicken, vegetable.
- Place a Dutch oven or soup pot on the stove at medium-high heat. Add the olive oil.1 teaspoon olive oil
- Add the sliced beef along with the spices. Season both sides of the meat.1 1/2 – 2 pounds beef tips/stew meat, 1/2 tablespoon Creole Seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
- Sear both sides of the meat. You only need to cook the meat for a few minutes to sear it and lock in the flavor of the spices. Once you have seared the meat, remove it from the pot and set it aside.
- Adjust the heat on the stove to medium heat. Add in the onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the onions and garlic are translucent and fragrant.1/2 cup diced onions, 2-3 garlic cloves
- Add the butter the pot. Stir and allow it to melt.2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- When the butter has melted, add in the flour. Add it in stages and stir continuously to avoid clumping. This will create a roux, which will thicken the gravy.1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Add in 1 cup of broth, Worcestershire sauce, and stir until the gravy begins to thicken. If the gravy is too thick, add additional broth. Stir (and continue to add broth, I typically need 2 cups) until the gravy reaches your desired consistency. Taste repeatedly and add salt and pepper to taste as needed. This is important to ensure the gravy isn't bland.1 1/2-2 cups broth, 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Add the seared beef back to the pot. Adjust the heat to low. Place the lid on the pot and simmer for 1-2 hours until the beef is tender.
- Serve the beef drizzled in gravy.