I have been making what I called “braised beef tips” for years using the most basic of ingredients thrown into a crock pot and cooked all day. What I produced was flavorful dish that pleased the family but wasn’t really “braised” in the true sense. I decided to do a little research and learn exactly what is “braised beef” and can I improve on my tried and true recipe.
After searching the web, my favorite article regarding braised beef was at About.com. They stated, “Braising is a form of moist-heat cooking that breaks down connective tissues in tough cuts of meat, leaving them tender and succulent.” And although my crock-pot creation was a form of moist-heat the preferred method is baking in a heavy pan such as a dutch oven at a low temperature for 1 to 5 hours. I really recommend checking out their site if you are interested in step by step instructions. Following their guidelines I created this recipe.
- 2 lbs beef tips
- 1 tbs oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 carrots finely diced
- 1 - 14.5 oz can beef broth
- 2 - 14.5 oz cans stewed tomatoes (chopped)
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 pks McCormick brown gravy mix
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- Add oil to dutch oven and heat on top of stove to medium high heat
- Brown meat 1 pound at a time remove to bowl after browning and set aside
- Add onion and carrots to dutch oven and saute about 3 minutes
- Add garlic and saute 1 minute more
- Return beef to dutch oven, add tomatoes and beef broth.
- Bring mixture to a simmer NOT A BOIL cover and place in 300 degree oven
- Bake "braise" mixture for 3 to 5 hours making sure the liquid doesn't evaporate past the meat.
- About 30 minutes before serving prepare gravy mix according to package directions.
- Pour over meat and return to oven for 30 minutes.
- Serve over rice or noodles
There was a remarkable difference between the dish cooked in the oven as opposed to the crock pot. The texture and flavor are much more defined and succulent. For ease and convenience you could still prepare the recipe in the crock pot and I think you would enjoy it but I suggest if you are going to be home just place it in the over. You will be glad you did.