Steak Tips with Caramelized Onions - A terrific marinade for steak tips that results in tender, flavorful beef plus amazing caramelized onions. So delicious!

At our house, we eat chicken or fish probably 99% of the time – but lately we’ve been on a bit of a steak and potatoes kick!  Sometimes, the craving strikes for a juicy burger or steak – and these Steak Tips with Caramelized Onions are a delicious way to satisfy any red meat craving!

My husband Jack developed this recipe for steak tips with caramelized onions many years ago after working in a restaurant where the tips were among the most popular items on the menu.  It has a ketchup-based marinade that combines sugar, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and A-1 Sauce with the ketchup for added flavor.  The combination of flavors makes a really fantastic marinade for beef!  And, if you are using a less expensive cut of beef for your tips – you can also add in some Coca-Cola to the marinade which lends even more flavor, plus it helps to tenderize a tougher cut of beef!

Steak Tips with Caramelized Onions - A terrific marinade for steak tips that results in tender, flavorful beef plus amazing caramelized onions. So delicious!

And, a bit more about which cuts of beef to use when making these steak tips with caramelized onions…we recommend a really good cut of meat like sirloin or rib eye.  (We used rib eye for the photos show here; it happened to be on sale at the market!)  Whichever you choose – just look for nice marbling (thin lines of fat) throughout the meat, which will result in tender tips.

Topped with simple and delicious caramelized onions and served along with our Parmesan Truffle Fries – dinner is ready!

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Sirloin Steak Tips - A Family Feast

Steak Tips with Caramelized Onions

  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 6 mins
  • Total Time: 8 hours 6 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Using Coca Cola is a commonly-used ingredient in steak marinades and it helps tenderize the beef. But – if you use a really good-quality cut of beef, it is not necessary and water can be used. (For our rib eye tips, we used water.)


Scale

Ingredients

For the Marinade

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup Coca-Cola or water (see note)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup A-1 Sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Other Ingredients

  • 2 pounds sirloin or rib eye trimmed and cut into large cuts as big as 2 to 3 inches square
  • 1 large onion, cut into thick strips vertically
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  1. In a medium sauce pan, place all marinade ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  2. Trim any gristle or large pieces of fat from beef. Cut into large pieces; about 2-3 inches square. Place cut beef in a zip lock bag. Pour cooled marinade over beef, seal and marinate 8-24 hours.
  3. In a medium sauté pan over low heat melt butter in olive oil and place onions, salt, pepper and sugar and cook stirring occasionally for 30-40 minutes until onions are caramelized but not cooked down too much. Start cooking tips as the onions get close to finishing.
  4. When you are ready to grill, drain all marinade and heat a ribbed grill pan over extremely high heat or heat your outdoor BBQ grill to the highest setting.
  5. Lightly oil or spray pan or grill and place beef onto grill or pan not touching each other and cook untouched for 2-3 minutes (Depending on how thick they are and how hot your grill or stove gets, the timing will need to be monitored). If you are not certain, cut into one and check for doneness. Turn once and cook for another 1-2 minutes for medium rare. Remove to a platter and serve with the caramelized onions.

You may also enjoy:

Parmesan Truffle Fries

Parmesan Truffle Fries - A Family Feast

Perfect Pan-Seared Steak

Perfect Pan-Seared Steak - A Family Feast

Steak au Poivre with Crispy Shallots

Steak au Poivre with Crispy Shallots - A Family Feast

  • Meet The Author: Martha

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    Comments

  • Barbara Perry wrote:

    I am so glad I found you. Such yummy ideas.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Barbara! We are happy to have found you too!

    • Nikki wrote:

      I’m allergic to red wine
      and red wine vinegar. Is there a substitute that would taste as good?

      • Martha wrote:

        Hi Nikki – If you are able to have another type of vinegar – use one of those – balsamic, white wine, apple cider, etc. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Candra P wrote:

    Looks so yummy.
    Wondering how it will turn out if I cook the steak in my crockpot after letting it marinade

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Candra – I actually would not recommend the crockpot for this recipe. You won’t get the same caramelization in the crockpot as you would following the recipe as it’s written.

  • Elizabeth Zippelius wrote:

    Did I die and go to heaven ? Everything sounds to good to be true.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Elizabeth! Enjoy!

  • Dan wrote:

    Looks great to me. I will try this weekend

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy the recipe Dan!

  • Hadia wrote:

    Martha, your recipe sounds fantastic!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Hadia!

  • Shirley wrote:

    Oh my– This sounds wonderful. We are a family that has never met on onion or garlic that we didn’t like. I cant wait to try this.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Shirley! Hope you enjoy!

  • Suzanne Stuban wrote:

    I made this Wednesday for dinner. The marinade was out of the world! Onions were also fantastic. Unfortunately the beautiful sirloin I bought was tougher than leather:( Definitely going to try again.

    • Martha wrote:

      Sorry to hear that Suzanne!

  • KEMA wrote:

    Can the marinade but used on something other steak?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Kema – It would work on pork as well!

  • Allison wrote:

    This sounds wonderful! I just took my steak out of the freezer this morning, and won’t have time to marinate it before dinner. Would you recommend still using the marinade ingredients over the steak in a pressure cooker?

    Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Allison – no – I wouldn’t recommend using a pressure cooker for this recipe or cut of beef. You could try thawing the steak in the marinade instead. Hope that helps! Martha

  • Lisa wrote:

    These have become a family favorite! The favors of the marinade are out of this world!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Lisa! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Christine wrote:

    If I reheat the marinade after draining, would you recommend topping off the meat with some?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Christine – We haven’t done it ourselves and I don’t think it’s necessary because you already have great flavor from the caramelization during the cooking process. Hope that helps!

  • Denise wrote:

    Made this for dinner tonight with a grass-fed sirloin. Awesome recipe, thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Denise – sounds great!

  • Kim wrote:

    Has anyone ever cooked this on the stove? Just wondering about the temperature and how it tasted?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Kim – Yes – you can use a stove top grill pan over high heat to cook these steak tips!

  • TLe wrote:

    I cooked it over the stove and also didn’t put in any steak sauce, hopefully that didn’t change the flavor too much. It was delicious in the end, thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • John wrote:

    Hmmmm…… Just curious. Sirloin tip steaks are a very lean cut of meat. Cook them quickly on high heat without a long (24 hr) marinade, and you will only get shoe leather as a result. Possibly tasty shoe leather, but very tough. I am not sure about rib eye, but as this is generally fairly well marbled, the tip might also be fatty, so this recipe may work with rib eye tips. I see some comments indicating they had very tough results. I hope if they try this again, they do not do it with sirloin tips. Have you ever tried this recipe with sirloin tips? I am going to try this recipe, with sirloin tips, but after searing the steak and carmelizing the onions, I will add some beef broth and possibly some wine and let it reduce somewhat and them let it simmer. I will probably add some corn starch at the end to thicken up the liquid. Sounds great, but I will let you know.

    • Martha wrote:

      Great questions John! It’s been a while since we made this recipe…we have some sirloin tips in our refrigerator so we’re planning to re-test the recipe this week to make sure that we aren’t leading our readers astray by suggesting sirloin tips. (We will update the recipe if needed.) Thanks for taking the time to write to us today!

    • John wrote:

      Woops! Missed the whole marinade part, even though I re-read three times – but late at night, you gotta believe me! Sorry about that.

      • Martha wrote:

        No worries John! We’re excited to have steak tips this week anyway! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Mary wrote:

    I made this last night with the truffles potatos. It was delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks so much Mary! We’re very glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Ashley wrote:

    Do you this this would be a good marinade for chicken?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Ashley – We haven’t used it for chicken ourselves and my initial thought is that it might be too ‘strong’ of a flavor for boneless skinless chicken …but for skin-on chicken – maybe. If you try it, please let us know how it comes out!

  • Laci wrote:

    Hi! Did you end up trying it again with the sirloin? How did it turn out? Which cut do you prefer using? Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Laci – We did and it was delicious! Both cuts are good – so depending on your budget you can’t go wrong with either cut. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Shelley J wrote:

    I found this recipe on Pinetrest, made it and turned it into a pappardelle pasta dish with sauteed mushrooms. The marinade is very good, but too sweet for me so next time i might not add sugar at all. I ended up adding more vinegar and some red pepper flakes to counteract the sweetness. Also, this recipe makes a tremendous amount of very expensive marinade (the A1 and Worcestershire alone is $$)- I will definitely cut it in half next time as it all just becomes waste unfortunately and its so delicious. I used NY strip so my beef was very tender. For the pasta I made a roux, added strong beef broth and some of the marinade to taste, tossed in Pasta, mushroom, onions and steak – it was delish and we will definitely make again. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Martha wrote:

      Sounds like a great adaptation of our recipe Shelly! Thanks for taking the time to write to us with your feedback.

  • Amy wrote:

    Wow, what a great meal! My husband says he can’t remember a better one!! Thanks for sharing both recipes.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Amy! We’re glad you both enjoyed the recipes!

  • Yvonne McGinn wrote:

    MARTHA THISWAS FABULOUS, VERY TASTY WILL DO AGAIN!
    THANK YOU

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Yvonne! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Lovefam6 wrote:

    Is there any way to do this in the oven? I destroy everything I do on the grill, plus I have an almost toddler who refuses to stay inside as I’m going in and out when I’m trying to grilll, lol. This looks delicious but I need an oven or crockpot variation.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi! The instructions are written for an outside grill OR a stove top grill pan – so that is an option for you too if you need to stay inside the house! You won’t get the same results in a crockpot so I wouldn’t recommend that at all. For the oven – you could try broiling the tips at a high temp. Depending on the temperature of your oven and the size you cut the tips, it would take only a few minutes on each size under a hot broiler. Hope that helps!

  • Traci wrote:

    Used Ribeye and no coke. Marinated since yesterday. Had for dinner tonight delicious! I sautéed fresh mushrooms separate and then combined them with the onions at the end. Mmmmmm. Everyone loved it even the 7 year
    old!!
    Thanks!! Will make this again for sure.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe Traci!

  • Joyce wrote:

    Oh, man, this sounds heavenly! I’m going to have to make these for my personal Thanksgiving dinner, not wanting to roast a turkey this year.

    Thank you so much for what appears to be something so delicious, everyone around me is going to be wiping the drool off their chins!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Joyce – we hope you all enjoy the recipe!

  • Cindy wrote:

    I realize that this post is older but I do hope that you get it and respond with a suggestion before tonight’s dinner 😉 I, unfortunately, cut my sirloin chunks too small to grill (bout 2″ chunks) and I don’t own a ribbed grill pan. Would you recommend using my very large George Forman Grill as a cook top (not closing it) or just cook on the stove top in a large frying pan. Hope to hear from you very soon. Thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Cindy! I would definitely recommend a scorching hot fry pan over the George Forman (it just won’t get hot enough) – just be careful not to over-crowd the pan with the steak tips. The benefit of the grill pan is so that you get the nice caramelized sear and any juices run, preventing it from essentially ‘steaming’ the meat as it cooks. With a hot pan, you can still get that sear as long as you leave some room around the sides of the tips while they cook. Hope that helps!

      • Cindy wrote:

        Thank you for such a quick reply!!! I understand your suggestions and will give it a go tonight! I have been marinating the meat since yesterday evening and I can’t wait to try. The only other variation that I will make is to saute’ mushrooms in butter to add to the caramelized onion mix!

        • Martha wrote:

          Sounds delicious Cindy! Hope you enjoy the steak tips!

  • Randi wrote:

    We totally missed the part about heating the marinade ingredients before pouring over meat and marinating in fridge. Will this affect it any

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Randi – The sugar might not dissolve completely without the heat…but give it a try and see how it turns out! (Let us know!)

  • Danielle wrote:

    Hi, Made these steak tips last night and it was delicious. I only had to change one thing, didn’t have A-1 sauce (went to 4 different grocery stores with no success) so I used steak sauce instead. Served with oven fries and butter green beans. A hit. Keeper recipe …

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed the steak tips Danielle! Thanks for taking the time to write to us!

  • Amanda wrote:

    We make this alot really love the taste. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Question, after marinading could you freeze 1/2 the
    meat before cooking to use later? Would be a quick easy dinner from the freezer if so. Thanks!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Amanda – Yes – you can freeze the marinated meat as long as it hasn’t been previously frozen. Also, you should freeze the marinaade – just the meat. Hope that helps!

  • Shannon wrote:

    Made this last night and it was soooo yummy! We all gobbled it up. I doubled the onions, because we are big fans. Thanks so much for the great recipe. Definitely a keeper!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Shannon! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Martha wrote:

    Hi Sharyl – Thank you so much! Depending on the cut of meat you are using for these tips, you don’t need to tenderize it but it won’t hurt it if you do! We do have a Slow Cooker Tex Mex Chicken Stew recipe here: http://www.afamilyfeast.com/slow-cooker-tex-mex-chicken-stew/ – but if that isn’t what you are looking for, we do have a recipe index – we hope you’ll browse around to find more recipes to love. Thanks for writing to us today – we’re glad you found us! 🙂

  • Janet Rush wrote:

    Can dr pepper be replaced with the coca cola or would it change too much of the flavor

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Janet – We haven’t tried it with Dr. Pepper ourselves…it definitely has a distinctive cherry taste so it might change the flavor a bit.

  • Amy wrote:

    Darn auto correct–that was supposed to say we don’t have coke in the house, would Diet Coke work?

    Thanks!
    Amy

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Amy – Ideally you want the soda to have sugar in to so that it caramelizes as you cook it. Diet sodas aren’t ideal for this recipe.

  • Cindy wrote:

    Checking about the amount of sugar. Can that be reduced? Thinking maybe combing that with 1/2 cup cola could be too sweet.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Cindy – While you won’t actually be consuming the marinade (it cooks off and creates a caramelization on the beef that our other readers seem to love), feel free to adjust however you’d like if you are worried about the sweetness level. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Mrs. Priss wrote:

    Loved this recipe. Used a smallish T-bone steak cut into tips and seared it on the stove top. Even my insanely picky husband devoured it. It’s a keeper for sure!

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you both enjoyed the recipe!

  • Martha wrote:

    Sorry for the delay in responding Vickie – you should still be ok!

  • Victoria wrote:

    Is there anyway to cook this in the oven?

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure Victoria – you could broil the steak tips.

  • Tulea wrote:

    This sounds so yummilicious! Couple of questions. I’ll be using top sirloin steaks, would a cast iron skillet work on stove top? If I use ACV instead of red wine vinegar, would any of the other ingredients need to be adjusted? Planning on making this for Christmas dinner with mushrooms and onions, garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed carrot – zucchini.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Tulea – A cast iron skillet will work fine. No changes required for apple cider vinegar – the flavor will be a little bit different but it won’t require any other changes to the recipe. Enjoy!

  • Susan wrote:

    This is a really delicious recipe and a family favorite!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Susan!

  • Key wrote:

    Can this recipe be used with lean beef stew chunks??

    • Jack wrote:

      You can however they will not be as tender as rib eye or strip. The marinade will tenderize them some but depending on the cut of beef the market or butcher used to pull the beef from, it will be a coin toss if they come out tender or not.

  • Sandy wrote:

    Just bought a beautiful sirloin tip roast(appx 1 1/2 inch thick). Will it be just as tender if I don’t over cook!

    • Jack wrote:

      A sirloin tip roast is a cut that is near the sirloin but not the sirloin itself. It is lean and will most likely be a little tough if cooked like this. The marinade will help and I’m sure it will be tasty, just not as tender as the sirloin itself or the rib eye. Sirloin tip roasts are typically found cut up in stews or roasted low and slow but with a marinade could be used for this recipe or as a kabob.
      Hope this helps.
      Jack

  • Chuck wrote:

    I have made this recipe several times now, and will continue to do so. It reminds me of the Steak Tips on the menu at IHOP!

    I have a question about the marinade: Rather than completely discarding it before grilling the steak-tips, is it safe to pour some of it off near the end of the marinating cycle and add it to the sauteed onions and mushrooms in order to infuse into them some of that same flavor as the meat? If so, do you have a recommendation for how many minutes into the sauteing it would be best to do so?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Chuck – So glad you are enjoying the recipe! You can add a few tablespoons of the liquid early on when sauteing the onions – while the onions are firm. You’ll just want to make sure that you cook the marinade long enough and hot enough to kill any bacteria that might have been introduced from the meat. Hope that helps!

  • brenda wrote:

    Great recipe no need for going out to get a great steak! However I did cook on garage stove. Getting good heat in your grill skillet is the trick. Makes smelly mess probably best on outdoor grill but don’t have one I used slotted large griddle skillet and I marinated fresh sirloin steaks about 8 hours. Thank you for recipe best homemade steak in my 40 married years.

    • Martha wrote:

      WOW Brenda – We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Carol Swanson wrote:

    Just made this for supper tonight and it was delicious! The meat had that steak house flavor that I just love. I served it with rice pilaf and when I carmalized the onion I added zucchini and brown mushrooms throwing in a little of the meat marinade at the end. My husband and I are still drooling.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you both enjoyed the recipe Carol! Thanks for taking the time to write to us.

  • Jan Rongey wrote:

    I think this recipe is awesome… I can taste it now.. Yum… I’ll be the one cooking it so I’ll have to read it a few time’s.. Husband likes to entertain.. Any ways I’ll let you now how it turns out.. Thank You again for this recipe..

    • Martha wrote:

      We hope you love it Jan!

  • CAROL HACKER wrote:

    Do you have to marinate 8 hrs?

    • Martha wrote:

      That’s our recommendation for the best results, but if you have run out of time, I’d suggest at least 1-2 hours at room temperature

      • Carol wrote:

        Thank you.😊

  • Vicki Burton wrote:

    Delicious! Definitely will make again!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Vicki!

  • Samantha wrote:

    After cooling the marinade and adding it to the meat can I then freeze both the marinade and meat together until ready to thaw and cook?

    • Jack wrote:

      Honestly don’t see any reason why you couldn’t do this by why would you want to? If it was me, I would freeze the steak, then when ready, thaw, marinate and grill the next day.

  • Michele wrote:

    My kids love this

    • Martha wrote:

      Yay – So glad the recipe was a hit! Thanks for taking the time to write to us Michele!

  • Kelly wrote:

    How would you cook the steak tips on the stove instead of grill?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Kelly – The big difference would be that you’d want to blot as much of the marinade off the outside of the tips as possible so the liquid doesn’t steam the tips, and they caramelize instead. Also if you have a ribbed grill pan, that would be the pan to use.

  • Eric wrote:

    The marinade by it self taste bland. Lacking seasoning. I double checked the ingredients. Is that how its supposed to be?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Eric – The marinade flavors as written are meant to compliment the flavors of the steak, not mask the flavors, to be served as a sauce, or eaten on it’s own. Having said that, any recipe is starting point and you should always feel free to add your favorite seasonings if you’d like!

  • Jane wrote:

    Do you have the calorie/carb count?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Jane – Unfortunately we don’t. We aren’t professional dieticians so we want to find a reliable and accurate solution for calculating the nutritional information before we add it to our recipes. In the meantime, there are some free online calculators you can use – perhaps you already use one that you like such as MyFitnessPal, etc?

  • Michelle wrote:

    Hi I am going to try this recipe tonight it looks mouth watering

    • Martha wrote:

      We hope you love it Michelle!

  • Rhonda wrote:

    That looks good

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Rhonda! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

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