Cast-Iron Skillet Bison Steak with Caramelized Onions


  • 1 bison rib-eye or other steak, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Caramelized onions, to taste

*Makes 1 steak

How to Make It

  Let the steak stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Pat dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and pepper. Rub all over with olive oil. (I oil my steaks instead of the skillet; this prevents the skillet from smoking while preheating.)

  Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium for 15 to 30 minutes. Add the steak, presentation side down. Cook for 4 minutes or until the underside is golden brown, reducing the heat if the meat cooks to fast and starts to blacken. Flip using tongs. Cook to rare or medium-rare, monitoring how the other side browns and watching for when pink/red juices appear on the surface. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes.

  Transfer  the steak to a cutting board. Let it stand, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes so it can redistribute and reabsorb its juices. (The juices move to the surface while cooking and will spill out if the steak is cut immediately.) If desired, serve topped with caramelized onions.

Caramelized Onions

makes about 1 1/4 cups


  • 2 lb yellow, red, white, and/or sweet onions (about 4 large), halved and thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Pinch granulated sugar (optional)
  • Splash aged balsamic vinegar (optional)

How to Make It

  Put the onions in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, until the onions just start to burn. Turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring often and adding the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil if needed. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring, for 30 minutes, until you have a small pile of caramelized onions.

  I like my onions like this, but you may want to stir in a little sugar and balsamic vinegar at this point to round out the flavors. Refrigerate, covered, for up to 5 days.


That's it! Time to enjoy all of your hard work. If you enjoyed this recipe and want to find more recipes like these, then check out  "Buffalo Girl Cooks Bison" by Jennifer Bain on amazon at:

Share your creations on our Facebook ( and it could be featured on our website!

Back to blog