T-bone steak is a tender, juicy and flavorful cut of beef, ideal for quick grilling. My T-bone steak recipe calls for lots of cracked pepper to create that delicious outer crust, plus a topping of sweet and earthy caramelized onions kissed with balsamic for even more flavor!
A Perfect Steak for the Grill
One of my favorite summer time meals as a kid was T-bone steak, fresh off the grill and still sputtering and sizzling...
In our family, we only ever really enjoyed steak dinners at home, in the late spring or summer months, because that was the season to bust out our grill.
And since T-bone steak was my mom's favorite cut, this is what my folks would often prepare as a weekend treat with some creamy mashed potatoes and a green salad on the side.
I loved how flavorful, juicy and rich those T-bone steaks were, and even enjoyed nibbling on the bone afterwards!
To this day, I always think of my mom and dad whenever I see a T-bone steak at the market, or purchase a couple for us to enjoy for our family meal, because they were just such a yummy part of my childhood.
My T-bone steak recipe is very similar to the one that I enjoyed as a kid, as it's rubbed with some simple seasonings to create that outer crust, and comes with a topping of caramelized onions, which my mom always served hers with—so delicious!
To this day I think of T-bone steak as a treat, and preparing it is my little homage to one of my most beloved meals of my childhood!
My T-Bone Steak Recipe
If you're not too familiar with T-bone steak, it's actually two steaks in one, which is kind of unique...
Cut from the short loin, that big “T-bone” separates the strip steak (the lengthier piece of steak) and the tenderloin (the slightly smaller piece), both equally delicious with their own unique texture.
You can purchase a large, thick T-bone steak from the butcher department, but I actually prefer steaks that are not quite so thick (about 1 pound each), as they cook much quicker to tender, juicy results, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
And while one can cook a T-bone steak in a variety of ways (outdoor grill, seared on the stovetop in a cast iron pan, even finished in the oven if the steak is on the thicker side), I like to keep things simple here and use my grill pan for my T-bone steak recipe—it's perfect for grilling year round!
To impart a bit of added flavor, I season and marinate the steak for a few minutes with a touch of olive oil, some Dijon mustard, a clove of pressed garlic, a good sprinkle of salt, and lots of freshly cracked pepper—this creates a nice, flavorful crust on the outside of the T-bone steak, which also penetrates into the meat.
And for even more flair and deliciousness, I caramelize several onions, cooking them down until nice and jammy with some olive oil, butter, balsamic vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper. The caramelize onions atop of the grilled T-bone steaks is absolutely mouthwatering!
Here's a peek at my T-bone Steak recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I season a couple of T-bone steaks and allow them to rest while I caramelize my onions for my topping.
- I caramelize several onions in a large, deep skillet until a deep golden-brown color and soft, sweet and jammy, and keep those warm while I grill my steaks.
- To grill the T-bone steak, I allow a large grill pan to get very hot, then drizzle in a bit of avocado oil (or other high-heat oil), and place the steaks into the pan (working in two batches, if necessary). I grill on that first side for about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip the t-bone and grill for another 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare. (If you use an instant read thermometer, the internal temp should be about 130°.)
- I allow the T-bones to rest for about 10 minutes before either slicing into thin strips, or cutting the steaks into 4 separate steaks (2 strips and 2 tenderloins), and then top with the caramelized onions.
- I serve the steaks with my mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, or seasoned oven fries on the side.
T-Bone Steak Recipe
by Ingrid Beer
Tender and juicy, my T-bone steak recipe has a delicious peppery crust and comes topped with sweet-savory caramelized onions!
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 786 calories per serving
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 58 minutes (includes caramelizing onions)
Total time: 1 hour 13 minutes
T-Bone Steak Ingredients:
- 2 T-bone Steaks, roughly 1 pound each
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, presses through garlic press
Caramelized Onions Ingredients:
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 large sweet onions, halved and sliced into ¼” thick semi-circles
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of the T-bone steak ingredients according to the ingredient list to have ready and organized for use.
- To season/marinate the steaks, rub the olive oil, cracker pepper, salt, Dijon mustard and garlic into the steaks, and allow them to rest while you prep the caramelized onions. (If not preparing the onions, then allow the steaks to marinate for about 20 minutes, and proceed with the steps for grilling below.)
- Next, gather and prep all of your caramelized onions ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To prepare the onions, place a large heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat, and add the oil and the butter. Once melted, add in the sliced onions, and arrange in the pan (it will look like a tremendous amount of onions, but they will cook down to less than a cup). Using tongs, gently toss the onions to help them to sweat for about 5-10 minutes.
- Once they begin to cook down and become translucent, add the dried thyme and the sugar, and stir to combine well. Reduce the heat to low/medium-low, and cook down the onions slowly for about 50 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally to prevent the sugars in the onions from burning to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the onions have cooked down and become golden and caramelized, add the salt, the pepper and the balsamic vinegar and allow it to deglaze and reduce for about 1-2 minutes, still on low. Once vinegar has reduced, the onions should have a soft and “jammy” consistency, and be savory-sweet. Turn off heat, set aside and keep warm until ready to top steak.
- To grill the steaks, place a large grill pan over medium-high heat (use a touch of oil, if needed). Once hot, add the T-bone steaks and allow them to grill for about 4 minutes on the first side, then flip and grill for another 4 minutes (or until 130° internal temperature), for medium-rare.
- Allow the steaks to rest for 10 minutes, then either slice up the steaks into thin strips and spoon over the onions, or cut the two strip steak portions and the two tenderloin portions from the bones, and serve as 4 whole pieces topped with the caramelized onions.
- Serve with creamy mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, salad, oven fries, or your favorite sides.
Tips & Tidbits for my T-Bone Steak recipe:
- Opt for T-bones steaks that are not too thick for quicker grilling: I typically choose steaks that are roughly 1 pound each, not too thick. With a steak this size, I feel that the seasoning can penetrate into the meat, and the grill time is much quicker (about 4 minutes per side) for a medium-rare.
- Marinating your T-bone steak: There are any number of marinade options when it comes to adding flavor to T-bone steak, ranging from sauces to herb-crusts, to simply salt and pepper. I like to drizzle over some olive oil, season liberally with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, plus add a touch of Dijon mustard and a pressed clove of garlic for more flavor.
- Caramelized onions as a tasty topper: While these are totally optional, the caramelized onions add lots of sweet-savory and earthy flavor to each bite of steak. They do take a little time to become jammy and soft, but it's well worth it.
Craving more delectable steak recipes? Check out this Steak Salad, this Steak and Ale Soup, this Pepper Steak, this Crostini with Grilled Steak, these Steak Enchiladas, these Steak Kabobs, or these Steak Tacos!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2012, and has been updated with even more love!