Fork Tender Beef Tips in An Outstanding Herb Pan Sauce
This 30-minute steakhouse quality method for tenderloin tips bathed in a creamy herb and Dijon pan sauce is nothing short of fabulous.
Beef dishes in general can be full of flavor or complete flops if not seasoned correctly. In this method for beef tips in sauce, the sauce is “built” borrowing the flavors of the beef tips and the mushrooms. Layer after layer, each ingredient is begun in the hot cast iron, leaving behind pan juices, rendered fat, and browned bits that form the basis of what will become the best pan sauce you’ve ever tasted.
A few “key ingredients” including the everlasting bouquet that is Worcestershire sauce, lend savory notes to progressing pan sauce. In the end, heavy cream brings it all home with a stage for the fresh chopped herbs to shine.
Beginning with a great cut of beef is essential, but the creamy herb pan gravy will have you giddy upon that first bite.
Dinner recipes involving beef are among the most searched recipes on Not Entirely Average. And while grilling, barbecue, and smoker recipes still rule, stove top beef recipes are not far behind in terms of popularity. Not too far back, I brought readers one of my all time favorite Irish comfort food recipes for beef stew. Tender beef stew meat, a whole mess of onions, and a bunch of Guinness…I photographed it served over a bed of humble egg noodles. Boy, did Irish Beef Stew ever generate attention. I was messaged by several readers about adding more easy beef recipes to this website, preferably weeknight recipes. Ask and ye shall receive…
I rummaged through STACKS of old recipes I haven’t gone through in a while – like since I lived in New Jersey. To put it into perspective, I have lived in Charleston, South Carolina since 2005. So, some of these go way back. I always kept what worked and what received good or better reviews from family and friends over the years, stacking methods and ideas and recipes in neat piles. Eventually, they were filed away in file folders and tucked away in drawers.
Y’all gave me more than 50 compelling reasons to (I received emails about that Irish beef stew like it was nobody’s business!) wade through that mass of saved recipes. This beef tips recipe is a trial and error of the truest sort from 1999. Initially I attempted it in my slow cooker but that proved to be a ‘tough chew’ and lackluster in vibrancy and flavor. Sometimes the crock pot just cannot “do” what a super fast hot sear in a cast iron skillet can do for a good cut of beef…
Spoon the fork tender steak tips and the resplendent brown gravy over mashed potatoes, pecan rice, cheese grits, or delicious Spätzle dumplings. I have included links herein to a few of my favorite shortcut starches that make this easy meaty comfort dish ring the bell on the OMG meter. Dinner time will be in just about 30 minutes, so c’mon y’all!
I’m going to walk you through a pretty damn delicious sauce for this beef tip recipe today. Now, I am going to demonstrate this with beef tips and sliced mushrooms. You can however keep the tenderloin steaks in tact to serve individually if that is your preference.
Beef tips in sauce can be achieved in a screeching hot cast iron skillet in about 30 minutes time making it great for weeknight dinner preparation!
For my purposes today, I am cutting just over two pounds of prime beef tenderloin into 1 1/2-inch chunks. I have purchased these steaks at my local big box store which I swear has THE BEST offerings of beef, pork, and fish. That, and I can leave with one of their too good to be true rotisserie chickens for dinner another night.
Please keep in mind when selecting your beef that choosing the best you can afford to buy will pay you back tenfold in terms of ease of preparation and flavor.
The mushrooms may be any mushroom you enjoy, but must be fresh. If mushrooms are a no-go, consider replacing with pearl onions. I can usually find a bag of these frozen at my grocer. I melt about a tablespoon of butter in my cast iron and go about one cup on the onions. A good quick flash in the pan to scorch them, but NOT to cook all the way through, is what you’re going for.
Every single element in the sauce is integral. Try not to replace, omit, or alter the amounts of any of them as this will affect the final product. If however you are tasting at the end and just before serving and determine you need additional salt, pepper, or mustard, by all means season to taste. I am betting though that it will be perfect as it is.
You’ll want to earmark this recipe for the sauce, as it is absolutely fantastic on so many things including pork scaloppini, veal cutlets, and my personal favorite, baked monkfish. After making this from scratch, you’ll also never have reason to purchase a powdered gravy mix in the store again…
As I mentioned earlier, this dish is best enjoyed spooned over a homey starch. I think this is fabulous over cheesy grits. Mashed potatoes and Spätzle dumplings are a close second. Tonight however, it’s ‘serious business’ gravy for beef tips and rice. Rice and beef tips are my Dad’s favorite, so I concede the starch…oh, what a daughter won’t do for her daddy-o.
Do You Have What You Need To Make Fork Tender Beef Tips In An Outstanding Herb Pan Sauce? Check The List!
dry red wine
old style whole grain mustard
low sodium beef broth
sprigs of fresh parsley
fresh thyme leaves
cracked black pepper
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Fork Tender Beef Tips In An Outstanding Herb Pan Sauce
- large cast iron skillet
Ingredients for Fork Tender Beef Tips In An Outstanding Herb Pan Sauce
for the beef
- 2 – 2 1/4 pounds beef tenderloin steaks cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 cups mushrooms sliced
- Kosher salt
- black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
for the creamy herb pan sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 shallots minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/3 cup dry red wine
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 cup low sodium beef stock
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon parsley fresh, chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme fresh, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sage fresh, chopped
- Kosher salt
- black pepper
for the beef and mushrooms
- 1 hour before preparation, LIBERALLY salt and pepper the tenderloin tips. Toss to coat well. Set aside to come to room temperature.
- In a large cast iron skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the beef all at once and spread to one even layer. Resist the urge to move the beef tips around the skillet instead allowing the layer to brown on one side. Tips are ready to be turned when they freely release from the pan when nudged.
- Brown nicely on all sides but avoid cooking the beef through completely. Use a slotted spoon to remove beef tips to a plate to keep warm. Set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the mushroom slices. Again resist the urge to move around the pan instead allowing them to begin to brown and turn a lovely golden color, about 4 to 5 minutes. Use the slotted spoon to remove the mushrooms to the platter with the meat.
- Return the hot skillet to low heat and add the butter. Once melted, add the shallots. Cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Carefully add the red wine and bring to a boil. NOTE ** If feasible, I encourage adding any accumulated beef juices to the wine before bringing to a boil. Stir, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom, until the wine has mostly evaporated. Stir in the Dijon mustard and the whole grain mustard and increase the heat to medium-high.
- Add the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat momentarily to add the cream. Whisk to incorporate. Return the skillet to the heat and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the freshly chopped parsley, thyme, and sage. Taste for seasoning and add salt or pepper if necessary.
- Return the beef and the mushrooms to the skillet and stir to combine with the herbed pan sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until steak tips are medium-rare to medium, and register about 130°F.
- Garnish with additional chopped fresh thyme and serve tips spooned over a comforting starch.