I'm going to show you this very old-school method of making beef tips, which, once made, can be used to top lots of things--but my favorite thing to top with tips is probably Tater Tots®. And if you're looking for new ways to prepare lean, cheap, tough cuts of beef, this is one of my all-time favorite methods. You can give this an upgrade by topping with diced red onion, grated Cheddar cheese, and freshly sliced green onions, or you can serve the beef tips over hot mashed potatoes instead of tots, if you like.

Recipe Summary

15 mins
2 hrs
2 hrs 15 mins
4 servings


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Slice beef into 3/4-inch strips; then slice these pieces, at an angle, into smaller "tips." Season beef with salt and pepper.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Transfer in beef, arranging in a single layer. Let the meat sear until browned, 3 to 5 minutes, before turning over and browning the other side.

  • Reduce heat to medium and add tomato paste, garlic, and butter. Stir everything until the butter melts, and then stir in the flour. Cook and stir for 1 minute.

  • Stir in broth. Raise heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low, cover, and cook until beef is starting to get tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

  • Uncover, turn heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, and the meat is tender, about 30 minutes.

  • While meat simmers, bake potato nuggets in the preheated oven until crispy and heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.

  • Taste beef tips and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately over hot potato nuggets.

Chef's Notes:

This will work with any similar cut of beef. If you don't have tomato paste, you can use tomato sauce or ketchup.

Less butter can be used if the beef rendered out fat.

You can use water mixed with high-quality beef base instead of beef broth, according to directions.

Prepare tots as directed on individual package instructions.

Nutrition Facts

750 calories; protein 42.7g; carbohydrates 53.7g; fat 44.7g; cholesterol 121.2mg; sodium 984.8mg. Full Nutrition


Rating: 5 stars
Great recipe....and easy, didn’t change a thing! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
No changes made. Severely lacked in sweetness, even paired with a sweet red wine. It looked amazing in the pan. First Chef John recipe I haven't loved. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Excellent as usual from CJ. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I knew by watching this recipe is would be great. I wish I could have taken a better picture but I had no idea I'd end up leaving a review because it turned out to be addictive. But like any perfectly good recipe I can't leave it alone. Also, I don't always have exactly the same ingredients. So I used better than bouillon vegetable paste instead of beef bc that's what I had. I used less because instead of plain water I threw in some worsterchire sauce and soy sauce with that much less water. Do it to taste but be mindful of the salt. I did 2 parts worsterchire from one part soy sauce, 3 drops liquid smoke. Towards the end I added some canned mushrooms bc I needed to use them. I didn't have tots so I used mashed potatoes, and I had fresh zucchini I had to use so I lightly seasoned it and grilled that up to serve with. I tossed some chives on top from the garden and let me tell you... Amazing. I knew it would be good but had no idea it would be THIS good. The flavors completely transform and yes, the meat gets super tender so don't shy away from the tough cheaper cuts. I had elk stew meat that needed to be used and I can't imagine a better way of cooking it. The next time I will be using beef but everything else will stay the same. So so good. And so glad I was out of instant gravy mix (what as I thinking?), because it's what led me to this recipe. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Excellent recipe it worked perfectly! For ME, Even with reduced (50% less) sodium beef broth it was to salty to me! I will not salt the beef in prep, next time! I also added three slices of green pepper to the gravy in the one hour and 15 min cook time. Delish!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Made as written and served over rice. It smelled heavenly and we were hungry long before it was finished. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
We purchased 6 sirloin steaks. I pounded 4 of them. I marinated them overnight. I sous vide cooked them to perfection and seared on the grill. These steaks were tough as leather, husband broke a tooth on it. I decided to use the remaining 2 steaks for this recipe (I was ready to throw them away). WOW! This recipe redeemed our garbage! It was delicious, tender, and now I have carte blanche to purchase terrible steaks and make them tender and delicious! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious!!! Served with mashed potatoes. Meat was so tender!! Will definitely make again. Read More