Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Spicy Southern Kitchen: Slow Cooker Beef Tips with Gravy

When you get to that crazy period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, sometimes cooking can be a bit of a chore.  You know what I'm talking about.  You practically trashed your kitchen making the Thanksgiving feast.  Now you're trying to fit in all your Christmas (or Hanukkah) shopping before it's time to make a mass of cookies and other goodies.  And on top of THAT, you need to eat dinner.  Normally I'm not a proponent of convenience food dinners, but you know what?  Sometimes it's okay.  Sometimes you just need to throw some stuff in a slow cooker and not think about it.  And who doesn't like tender beef with gravy, especially when it's unseasonably cold out? (Curse you, El Niño!  You're ruining my beloved extended warm Texas temperatures!)

Note:  I've doctored this recipe up with a bunch of extra herbs and seasonings, so the chances of anyone outside your immediate family actually guessing this was thrown in the slow cooker before work that day is pretty small.

Slow Cooker Beef Tips with Gravy
Adapted from Spicy Southern Kitchen

2 to 2½ pounds boneless beef chuck roast
1 (10½-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10½-ounce) can beef consommé
1 (1-ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon dried summer savory
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cut the beef chuck into 1 to 1½-inch cubes.  Make sure to remove as much excess fat as possible to keep the final product from being greasy.

In the crock of the slow cooker, mix together the cream of mushroom soup and consommé, then add the onion soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, and all seasonings.  Add the beef cubes and mix well to coat.  Cook the beef on LOW for 6 to 7 hours.

Drain beef and set aside, covered.  Skim the fat from the cooking liquid and set aside to use for the gravy.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle with the flour and whisk until slightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes.  Whisk in 2 cups of the beef cooking liquid and simmer until thickened, adding any additional liquid to thin the gravy as needed.  Add the beef cubes back to the gravy, including any juices in the bottom of the dish.

Serve the beef over mashed potatoes, rice, or buttered noodles with the gravy.

Makes 6 servings

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