Slow Cooker Beef Tips with Mushroom Gravy (and Instant Pot!)
Homemade beef tips with mushroom gravy — as always with NO canned soups! My beef tips are ridiculously tender and easy to make in your slow cooker or instant pot. Serve beef tips over cauliflower mash, mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or rice!
Today I’m bringing on another round of homemade comfort food, loaded into a bowl over a fluffy cloud of creamy mashed potatoes.
My homemade beef tips are a family favorite.
When things are going a hundred miles per hour over here on weeknights, I need to get dinner on the table without having to babysit it. So I make a round of beef tips with mushroom gravy and serve it over a bed of fluffy, garlicky mashed potatoes and somehow, with every bite the troubles of the day slowly dissipate.
Hubby is happy because it’s man-food and I’m elated because fewer dishes! Although to be fair, hubby does dinner dishes. So my happiness stems more from the fact that this recipe requires minimum prep but produces maximum flavor?
Yes; let’s go with that. That’s it.
Video for the Best Beef Tips
It always makes me laugh when I share an instant pot recipe. Immediately I’ll get messages asking how to make that recipe in the slow cooker or on the stove. And the reverse proves to be true when I make recipes in the slow cooker/stove top. So this one goes out to all of my slow cooker AND instant pot fanatics.
Let’s let our kitchen gadgets make us dinner.
The inspiration for today’s beef tips with mushroom gravy comes from a Mississippi pot roast. I love what happens to brown gravy after it’s been mingling with pepperoncini pepper — one problem. I like to avoid using store-bought gravy mixes as much as possible. So I’m making a from-scratch gravy mix using simple ingredients that you can find in your own pantry. All except one are a pantry staple in most households. So you can quickly put this meal together on the fly.
Ingredients for instant pot beef tips
- Butter: we’ll season the beef with flour, kosher salt, and black pepper before we sear the meat in the butter to help create a layer of fond in the bottom of the fish. This will help flavor the rest of the beef tips ingredients.
- Beef: For beef stews and beef tips, I prefer to use a well-trimmed chuck roast or round roast that’s cut into 1-inch cubes. Sometimes, I’ll purchase ‘beef stew meat’ from the grocery store, which saves the time of having to trim and cut the meat into cubes. It all depends on what the grocery store has to offer; either would work for this recipe. Essentially, and tougher cuts of meat that require a longer cooking time will work for this recipe.
- Flour: will help thicken the stew and create a crust on the beef when we sear it.
- Chopped onions: adds flavor to the dish.
- Mushrooms: gives the recipe a bit more bite. The umami present in mushrooms works beautifully with beef. We aren’t using a can of cream of mushroom soup. So this and the mushroom powder essentially make up for that.
- Seasonings: we’ll use garlic powder, sugar, onion powder, dried thyme, and mushroom powder. A lot of these ingredients are actually what is present in a store-bought dry onionsoup mix.
- Worcestershire sauce: bumps the umami in the dish.
- Pepperoncini peppers: adds a peppery acidity to the dish which helps cut through the richness of the beef and butter and gives you a satisfying flavor. Trust me, leftovers taste even better! The meat is melt-in-your-mouth delicious on day two!
- Beef broth or stock: is the liquid portion of the dish. The meat and veggies will cook in this.
- cornstarch: we’ll mix a few tablespoons of cornstarch with water to create a cornstarch slurry that will help thicken the gravy at the end. A thickening agent is usually present in brown gravy mix, but since we aren’t using a packet for this recipe, this does that for us!
Making easy crock pot beef tips (or instant pot)
- Start by getting in that free flavor. Season the meat with flour, salt, and black pepper. Heat the butter in the instant pot directly if you’re pressure cooking. If you’re using the slow cooker or crock pot, you’ll want to do this in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sear the beef in batches and then remove to a plate. Add the onions and use a wooden spoon to scratch and pick up the fond layer that the beef left behind.
- Let it cook. Transfer the meat to a slow cooker at this point, and add all the ingredients except the cornstarch, and let the pressure cooker or slow cooker run.
- Make a slurry. Grab some of the liquid from the instant pot or slow cooker when it’s nearly done and whisk it together with the cornstarch (or you can also use water.) pour and stir this into the gravy and let the slow cooker or instant pot simmer the beef tips a little longer until the gravy thickens.
- Serve this up – any way you like it! You can serve these beef tips over mashed potatoes (try my cheddar cheese variety) or you can use rice, mashed cauliflower or even egg noodles!
FAQs about this recipe
Basically, beef tips are any cut of meat cut into cubes. However, it is important to understand that when you’re pressure cooking or slow cooking meat, there are certain cuts of meat that work better than others. The tougher the meat, the longer it’ll take to cook; the more perfect it is for slow cooking/pressure cooking.
You can skip this step if you’d like, but know that searing the meat in batches in a pan creates a layer of fond in the bottom of the dish which is essentially ‘free flavor.’ By skipping this step, you do lose some of the flavor development.
Absolutely! My suggestion would be to swap the flour for a 1-1 gluten-free baking mix. The package will be marked, and it means that you can swap 1 part flour for 1 part of the baking mix. So for this recipe, you’ll need a total of 2 tablespoons of 1-1 GF baking mix.
Leftover beef tips can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. I do find that this is one of those recipes that taste better on day two, so trust me, you’re gonna love the leftovers!
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 pounds chuck roast, trimmed+ cubed (or stew meat works too)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 onion, diced
- 8 ounces baby Bella mushrooms, cut into thick slices
- 1 ½ teaspoon EACH: garlic powder AND sugar
- 1 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, dried thyme, AND mushroom powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large bay leaf
- ½ cup pepperoncini peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ - 2 cups low sodium beef stock (see directions)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed with a few tablespoons of water)
- SEAR: Season the beef with the flour, a big pinch of salt and pepper; mix well. Heat the butter in the instant pot on the sauté setting or a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When it melts sear the beef in batches to form a brown crust, remove to a plate, and continue searing the remaining beef. Add the onions and switch to a wooden spoon. Sauté them for 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pot to make sure no brown bits are left stuck on.
- SLOW COOKER: Place 2 cups of beef stock along with the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker (except the corn starch) and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-7 hours. 35 minutes before the cooking time is up, combine ½ cup of the liquid from the slow cooker and the cornstarch in a small bowl, whisk until smooth. Add to the slow cooker and allow for the food to cook for the remaining 30 minutes. If the gravy is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water to thin it to your desired consistency. If you still find your gravy is thin, add more cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of water. Adjust salt and pepper to preference and serve over rice/mashed potatoes/cauliflower mash, etc.
- OR INSTANT POT: Place 1 ½ cups of beef stock along with the remaining ingredients in the instant pot (except the cornstarch) and select the meat/stew setting. Cook on manual high pressure for 35 minutes. Once the stew is cooked allow natural pressure release for 10-15 minutes. This gives the meat a chance to really soak up all those flavors. Click the ‘sauté’ setting. Dissolve the cornstarch with 2-3 tablespoons of water and add that to the instant pot once the liquid starts bubbling. Allow the sauce to thicken, about 1-2 minutes, stir to combine. If the gravy becomes too thick, you can add a couple more tablespoons of water to thin it to your desired consistency. Adjust salt and pepper to preference and serve over mashed cauliflower, mashed potatoes, rice, or egg noodles.