New England-Style Beef Steak Tips Recipe

Almost every region in America has their own version of beef tips, and though the recipes are generally the same, the dishes are surprisingly different. In the south, beef tips are made from inexpensive cuts of meat like chuck and braised slowly to tenderize the tough meat. The dish is served in thick gravy as a rich, stewed comfort food. On the west coast, beef tips refer to tri-tip steaks, grilled whole or cut into smaller steaks after a long marinade. In New England, east coast tips are made from a piece of the sirloin, a choice cut that tenderizes in tangy marinades and a few minutes over high heat. 

These steak tips are a summertime staple and a smokey, snackable comfort served with buttery sauce everywhere from BBQs to bars. They're delicious, buttery-soft bites of medium-rare steak coated in bold flavor. In this recipe written by Michelle McGlinn, the beef steak tips are marinated in honey, pepper, soy sauce, and chiles for a sweet-and-salty flavor that leaves your mouth tingling with heat. They're good, tender, and even better when draped in buttery garlic sauce; and the best part is that they take just a few minutes to cook, making this an easy meal for any day of the week.

Grab the ingredients for New England-style beef steak tips

The ingredients list is simple enough, but the type of meat is important to pay attention to. Grocery stores in Boston and beyond will have a specific cut of steak called steak or beef tips, which are cut from the sirloin. If you're not located on the east coast, these may be hard, if not impossible, to find. For areas that may not sell this specific cut, a sirloin cut into chunks will do. In fact, any steak you can sear to medium rare will work — just don't grab meats that need to cook low and slow, like chuck or short ribs.

To marinate the steak tips, you'll need honey, black pepper, olive oil, Thai bird chiles, and soy sauce. For less spicy steak tips, omit the chiles. To make the garlic butter, you'll just need some fresh garlic and butter.

Marinate the beef tips

Besides choosing the right cut of steak, marinating is an important step in tenderizing the steak so that the bites are super tender once seared. This marinade has an Asian twist, using soy sauce and Thai chiles to flavor the steak for a unique umami flavor. If the sirloin isn't already cut into chunks by the butcher, slice the beef into 2-inch pieces. You don't need to remove any fat, but if you prefer the texture without it, slice the fat away from the steak tips. Add the ingredients to a bowl with the steak tips and mix well to combine. If you're short on time, 30 minutes will work; but ideally plan to leave the beef in the marinade all day. For extra-tender steak, add a splash of rice wine vinegar.

Sear the beef steak tips

In New England, it's common to grill steak tips, using the high heat and smokey flavor of the grill to achieve darkly crusted bites. You can get similar results using a cast iron skillet, which can get — and stay — super hot. Heat up the skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Add the steak tips directly from the marinade and sear on each side until dark, golden brown. This will only take a handful of minutes; the steak should only be cooked to medium or medium rare.

Stir in the butter

Once the steak is cooked, turn the heat way down to low. Add the butter and garlic and stir while the butter melts. The resulting sauce will be glossy, thick, and fragrant. It's not quite a gravy, and should just thinly coat the steak bites. Toss the steak tips with the butter, then remove from the skillet and serve in a large bowl.

Serving options

It's not uncommon to enjoy this kind of beef tip on its own, as an appetizer or cookout main. It also pairs deliciously with mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and fresh greens, and can be enjoyed alongside a crisp IPA or a classic old fashioned. These are fast and easy enough for a weeknight meal, impressive to serve to friends during summertime cookouts, and fun to dress up for surf-and-turf date nights. Though you might be hard-pressed to find real sirloin tips outside of New England, this recipe offers a good chance to bring New England home, wherever home may be.

New England-Style Beef Steak Tips Recipe
5 from 42 ratings
Learn how to make this beef steak tips recipe cooked in savory garlic butter.
Prep Time
Cook Time
beef steak tips in bowl with potatoes
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 1 ½ pounds sirloin, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 small Thai chiles, finely chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  1. In a bowl, combine the sirloin, honey, pepper, olive oil, chiles, and soy sauce. Marinate for 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
  2. When ready to cook, heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the sirloin tips and sear on all sides until deeply browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Discard any remaining marinade.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium low and add the garlic and butter. Cook until butter is melted, stirring to combine with the beef. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until the butter is thickened.
  4. Serve immediately as appetizers or over potatoes.
Calories per Serving 629
Total Fat 49.6 g
Saturated Fat 19.0 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 163.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.4 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Total Sugars 6.8 g
Sodium 313.4 mg
Protein 35.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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