Break out your slow cooker and get ready to enjoy the BEST comfort food to cross your table this season! These Slow Cooker Mocha Beef Tips and Mushrooms are so good it’ll make you want to lick your plate clean!
This post is being sponsored by my friends at Rodelle Inc. to showcase one of my FAVORITE products from them – Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa Powder, Dutch Processed (which is my all-time FAVORITE cocoa). As always, all opinions my own. Thank you for supporting partnerships with brands I trust and believe in.
This recipe is one I’ve been making for at least 20 years or so. I can remember it so vividly creating this recipe. You see I was living on my own and one of my best friends decided to spend a long weekend with me as he wanted to bake Christmas cookies. Now what that meant was he was going to eat so much cookie dough that he made himself sick and then gained 8 pounds in 3 days because he ate so many cookies (and dough). Since I’m not a coffee drinker, his job was to bring his favorite coffee. I had “basic” coffee but not the fancy-schmancy stuff he liked.
Coffee and Cocoa with beef is an amazing marriage of flavors!
With my friend staying with me coffee was abundant in the pot. My making, 6 cups at a time for one person isn’t wise. So I had to find some way to use it up. It was about 9 am and we were making double chocolate chunk cookies and my smell of fresh coffee wafted in the air when I realized that I hadn’t figured out what to make for dinner. A quick look in the fridge and I spied a gorgeous package of chuck roast beef tips. Into the crockpot went the beef and on a whim, since I knew I had too much coffee made, I decided to add some of that and cocoa to it.
You already know that cocoa is one of my secret ingredients in chili so I figured why not add it to beef tips. What transpired honestly set the precedence to how I make beef tips (and many beef recipes) to this day!
Coffee’s effects on beef
Coffee is acidic. The acidic notes pair well with the savory tones of beef. It also helps tenderize the meat. When combined it helps boost the flavors of the meat.
Now if you’re like me and hate actual coffee as a drink, don’t worry as you do not taste it in recipes. Instead, you’ll get such a flavor-packed dish that you will fall in love with!
Adding Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa to beef
As a chef, I’m particular about the brands I use – regardless if it’s commercially or personally. I use THE BEST ingredients I can that I trust. Rodelle’s line of products is truly superior and I know that when I use them in any dish that I will have the same, amazing result every time!
Adding this cocoa to the beef adds such a depth of flavor; a richness that makes the beef and sauce so well-rounded. And since coffee and chocolate are pretty much BFFs, it’s only befitting this is added to the recipe!
What kind of beef can I use?
I use boneless stew meat that’s already cut up for me. You can also use chuck roast. You want meat that has some fat to it as it’s that fat that is going to help make the meat more tender as it slow cooks.
You could use cut-up round or rump roast but it’s not as flavorful as chuck roast and that it doesn’t have as much connective tissue either. You see you want those tough cuts of beef; those parts of the cow that have more muscles. More muscles mean they are loaded with collagen-rich connective tissues. When cooked low and slow that connective tissue melts into the meat and releases gelatin.
Did you ever bite into a piece of meat that was so smooth and almost melted in your mouth? Like it had such a great mouthfeel? That’s from the result of cooking those tougher pieces of meat that are loaded with connective tissue for hours.
How to make Mocha Beef Tips & Mushrooms
I make this dish in my 4 quart Cast Aluminum Slow Cooker. You can use any other slow cooker but what I love about this one is that you can put the insert directly on the stovetop and sear the meat in it. Hello, not dirtying extra pans!
If you buy your meat already cubed, that’ll save you time. I tend to buy this type of meat in bulk at Sam’s Club or Costco as it’s more cost-friendly and I can get several meals out of one package. But first, let’s start with some prep work
- You want to coat the meat in seasoned flour and then sear it. Make sure to not crowd the pan. Between batches, you may need to add a little more neutral oil to the bottom of your pan (or insert).
- While the meat is searing, cut up the onions and mushrooms. I like my mushrooms to still have a body so I tend to only cut them in half. If they are ginormous then maybe in thirds.
- To the beef stock whisk together the Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa Powder, Dutch Processed plus the coffee, salt, and pepper.
- Once all of the beef is seared, it’s time for everything to go into your slow cooker insert.
- First, deglaze your pan/insert to scrape up any burnt bits on the bottom. Don’t discard them as those are bits of flavor bombs!
- Next, start by adding all of the seared meat to the slow cooker insert, followed by the onions, mushrooms, bay leaf, and fresh thyme.
- Pour the Coffee Cocoa mixture on top and place the lid. Cook for 7 hours on low (don’t peek!).
- When done, remove the lid and fish out the thyme stems and bay leaf. Now since my insert can go straight to the stovetop, I just put it over medium heat while I made my slurry. If you don’t have an insert to do that, just use a slotted spoon and scoop out the meat and mushrooms. Add your slurry and, on the stovetop, cook for about 5-10 minutes. For the insert that can’t go on the stovetop, place your slow cooker on high and, once you whisk in the slurry, return your meat and mushrooms to the pot. This can take 10-15 minutes to thicken.
I know you’re going to ask – can you make this in the Instant Pot. The short answer is YES but the ingredient amounts and recipe instructions are so different that’s better to have to write up a different post for it. So stay tuned!
This Mocha Beef Tips & Mushrooms is the PERFECT cold-weather comfort food!
So hearty, so comforting! As you can see, the coloring of this is GORGEOUS! You can see that chocolate cocoa coloring so pronounced and the smell! Oh, folks, the smell of this is INCREDIBLE! That first time I made it I will NEVER forget his face. We had been baking ALL DAY and were exhausted. Flour on our face, icing in parts and sprinkles EVERYWHERE but honestly, it was the smell of this cooking all day that kept us going.
I took my shower first and, while my BFF was showering, I whipped up some mashed potatoes. I did a self-serve as I didn’t want to do any more work than I needed to as I was exhausted. The man, who swore he’d never eat again after making himself sick from eating so much cookie dough and cookies all day, ate 3 plates of this!
2 days later, the day he was going home, he asked me to make up another batch just so he could take it home. Yeah, I had a winner for sure!
Throughout the years I’ve made this and it’s always a huge company favorite. I know Mr. Fantabulous RAVES over this every time I make it. Your family and friends will too!
Freezing Mocha Beef Tips and Mushrooms
This freezes beautifully! Even if you eat all of the beef tips, mushrooms and are only left with the gravy, save it! Just portion out the cooled food into freezer-safe containers and freeze for 3 months.
What to serve with Mocha Beef Tips and Mushrooms
- For me, mashed potatoes are my go-to for sure.
- Overtop egg noodles or wild grain rice would be amazing too!
- This would be amazing with my sophisticated spin on Green Bean Casserole with caramelized mushrooms!
How to reheat Mocha Beef Tips & Mushrooms
- Oven – Remove the bowl from the fridge and place in an oven-safe dish. Cover tightly with foil and reheat at 350F for about 20-25 minutes or until heated through. For the last 5 minutes of reheating, remove the foil, stir and allow to reheat uncovered.
- Microwave – Place portion into a microwave container, cover, and microwave in 1 minutes intervals until heated through. Note that it may not be as thick upon reheating in the microwave.
Leftovers Ideas – what else you can make with mocha beef tips & mushrooms
For this dish? Good luck! HAHA! This is a dish where you and your guests will have 2 servings of but if you do have leftovers here are some of my favorite ways to serve them up in a new and delicious way. *note that the leftovers are already reheated through
- As a bowl – in the bottom of a soup bowl add warmed mashed potatoes, to the middle ladle in some beef tips and mushrooms and ladle over some gravy. Serve with a buttered warm roll
- As a sandwich – butter and pan-fry two thick slices of Texas toast until golden brown on one side. Flip the bread, add a slice of mozzarella/provolone to each piece of toast. On one slice of toast spread about 2-3 tablespoons of warmed mashed potatoes and top with a few bits of mushrooms and beef tips. Top with the remaining slice of bread and continue panfrying like grilled cheese. It’s like a grilled cheese but with the best beef tips EVER inside!
- Make as a pseudo-Shepherd’s Pie! – In a large, deep dish baking dish add the beef tips and mushrooms with some gravy. Next, stir in some frozen peas and carrots. On top of that take 2 cups of prepared mashed potatoes mixed with 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon of parsley. Mix and spread on top of the meat mixture. *make sure you have 1/2″ of space on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, place pats of butter on top, and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the broiler on high and broil just to get some coloring on the potatoes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Muffin Cups – Preheat the oven to the temperature on your muffin tube. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Flatten out each muffin to a 4-5″ circle and place it into the muffin tin. To the bottom of the muffin, add a tablespoon of warmed mashed potatoes, a teaspoon of frozen peas (or corn), and 1-2 tablespoons of beef tips and mushrooms. Bake per the muffin tube instructions (~13-17 minutes). Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Carefully remove the muffins from the cups, garnish with a drizzle of gravy and serve.
- Cupcakes – Preheat the oven to the temperature on your muffin tube. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Flatten out each muffin to a 4-5″ circle and place it into the muffin tin. To the bottom of the muffin, a teaspoon of frozen peas (or corn) and 1-2 tablespoons of beef tips and mushrooms. Bake per the muffin tube instructions (~13-17 minutes). Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Heat up 1 cup of creamy mashed potatoes that are thick enough to pipe-like frosting. Place the potatoes in a piping bag and pipe the top of the muffin-like you would a cupcake. Carefully remove the muffins from the cups, garnish with a drizzle of gravy and serve.
- 1 1/2 pounds cubed beef tips (stew meat or cut up chuck roast), patted dry
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa Powder, Dutch Processedi
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1–2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 lb cremini or baby portabello mushroom, chopped in half
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium
- 6 ounces really strong brewed coffee
- 2 cups beef stock (See note)
- 3 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 tablespoon water
- Canola or Grapeseed oil
- In a shallow baking dish combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; mix to combine. Toss the meat in the flour mixture and coat all pieces evenly. Place the insert of a cast aluminum slow cooker over medium heat. If your slow cooker insert is not stovetop safe, use a skillet. To the bottom of the insert (pan) add 2 tablespoon of oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the flour coated pieces (make sure to shake off the excess flour) to the pan. Do not crowd the pan. Sear on at least 2 sides (sometimes I only do 3 sides) until they are browned. Remove the seared ones to a bowl and repeat the process until all of the pieces of done. *You may need to add a tablespoon or 2 to the pan between the browning of the beef
- Pour about 1/4 cup of stock to the pan and scrape up any browned bits (the good stuff!). Put the insert into the slow cooker shell. To the pot add the rest of the browned bits plus any juices in the bowl. Next add in the onion, mushrooms, thyme, bay leaf.
- In a bowl whisk together the cocoa powder, soy sauce, coffee, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and remaining stock. Pour that over top the meat and place the lid on top. Cook on low for 7 hours. When done, remove the lid and place the cast aluminum insert onto the stove top with the heat set to medium low. Fish out the thyme stems and bay leaf.
- In a small jar or bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Slowly pour the mixture into the meat, stirring to incorporate. Allow to heat for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture thickens and makes a sauce/gravy that coats the spoon. Note – if you do not have an insert that you can move to the stove you’ll need to use a slotted spoon to remove the beef and mushrooms from the pot, add in the cornstarch slurry to your slow cooker while stirring it in and then add the beef back in. Put the slow cooker to HIGH and stir until the gravy/sauce thickens (10-15 minutes). Taste for seasoning and add part or all of the remaining salt and or pepper.
- Serve over mashed potatoes, egg noodles or rice!
If you do not have beef stock, you can use 2 cups of water and 1 Knorr Homestyle Beef Stock Gel cube
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