I’d always assumed that so-called “steak tips,” those cut up chunks of beef slowly greying under cellophane at the bargain end of the meat case, were some sort of mystery meat, more in line with hot dogs than with actual beef. I incorrectly assumed that steak tips were a collection of scraps from the butcher, cut form multiple parts of the animal, much like those giant packages labeled “stew meat.”
I couldn’t have been more wrong. As it turns out, steak tips are a bit of a regional specialty, found mostly in New England. At as high as $11 bucks a pound, they can be anything but a cheap cut. Cut from the upper part of the sirloin, they’re a tender cut perfect for stir fries, beef stroganoff, or in this case, rolled in cracked peppercorns, seared, and served with a red wine pan sauce. It’s a quick, easy weeknight meal that you can cook with a baby resting on your hip.
Sirloin Steak Tips Au Poivre
Serves 2-3; Adapted from a recipe in Cook’s Country
- 1 pound sirloin steak tips, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons coarsely ground pepper
- Salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons onion, minced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
Pat steak dry with paper towels, then toss in a bowl with salt and pepper until evenly coated on all sides.
Heat oil in a large skillet until smoking. Add steak tips, and cook until browned and to desired doneness, about 6-10 minutes. Transfer beef to a plate and tent with foil.
Add one tablespoon of butter to the pan, along with the minced onion. Cook until onions soften, about one minute. Add wine, broth, and thyme to skillet. Scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan and simmer until slightly thickened, about five minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in remaining butter. Spoon sauce over steak tips and serve.