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Easy and Tender Crockpot Beef Tips and Gravy

Perfectly fork-tender beef is coated in a simple and rich gravy sauce and combined with pearl onions and sliced mushrooms. This dish hits high on comfort, nutrition, and cozy satisfaction. 

Prep: 10 minsCook: 4 hours (high) or 6-8 hours (low)Total: 4 hours, 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings 1x

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil, divided (for Instant Pot version only)
  • 2 lbs. beef tips (cubed sirloin) or cubed beef stew meat (1- to 2-inch pieces)
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen pearl onions (unthawed)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced or coarsely diced
  • 1 ½ cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • For serving: Cooked mashed potatoes, mashed parsnips or cauliflower, or noodles
  • Snipped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a 6- to 7-quart slow cooker, place the beef tips, frozen pearl onions, tomato paste, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, salt, and pepper; stir until beef and onions are coated in the tomato paste and seasonings. 
  2. Add the mushrooms and pour the beef broth over all. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. 
  3. When the beef is tender, thicken the liquid with a cornstarch slurry.* To do so, place 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a small bowl and ladle ¼ cup of the hot liquid from the slow cooker into the bowl. Use a small whisk or fork to mix the cornstarch into the liquid until dissolved (should look like a muddy liquid). Pour the cornstarch slurry into the mixture in the slow cooker and mix until incorporated. Set slow cooker to high setting, cover, and cook for 30 minutes or until liquid is thickened. If you prefer even thicker gravy, repeat the cornstarch slurry step with 2 more tablespoons of cornstarch. The gravy will thicken even more over time and as the recipe cools.  
  4. Serve over mashed potatoes, other mashed veggies, or cooked noodles.
  5. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

*Never stir cornstarch directly into a full recipe, as it will create clumps. Instead, follow the directions in step 3 to create a cornstarch slurry in a small bowl, then stir that into the rest of the ingredients to make a gravy.

Instant Pot Directions:
1.
Select the ‘Saute’ function on the Instant Pot. When the pot is hot, add ½ tablespoon oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, add half (1 lb) of the beef and cook for 2 minutes or until browned. Flip each piece and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer cooked beef pieces to a plate and repeat with the remaining ½ tablespoon of the oil and remaining 1 lb beef. Remove beef to a plate. 
2. Add ½ cup of the beef broth to the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any bits. Add the mushrooms, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
3. Press the ‘Cancel’ button. Add the beef back to the Instant Pot along with the frozen pearl onions, remaining 1 cup of broth, and the tomato paste. Stir well to combine. 
4. Lock the lid into place and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. When the cooking time is up, allow for 10 minutes of natural pressure release before flipping the vent valve to the ‘venting’ position to release any residual pressure. 
5. When the beef is tender, thicken the liquid with a cornstarch slurry. To do so, place 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a small bowl and ladle ¼ cup of the hot liquid from the Instant Pot into the bowl. Use a whisk to mix the cornstarch into the liquid until dissolved. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the mixture in the Instant Pot. Press the ‘Cancel’ button and then turn on the ‘Saute’ mode. Stir and let it heat for a few minutes until the liquid thickens. If you prefer even thicker gravy, repeat the cornstarch slurry step with 2 more tablespoons of cornstarch. The gravy will thicken even more over time and as the recipe cools.  

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of the beef and gravy
  • Calories: 236
  • Fat: 6 g
  • (Sat Fat: 3 g)
  • Sodium: 627 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 11 g
  • (Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugar: 3 g)
  • Protein: 36 g
  • Cholesterol: 82 mg

Dietary

© The Real Food Dietitians
Recipe By: Jessie Shafer

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