Roll in the Hay Steaks


Roll in the Hay Steaks

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Method: Direct grilling


  • About 2 gallons of hay (enough to half fill a 4-gallon household bucket)
  • 3 bottles (12 ounces each) beer, or 1 quart water
  • 4 boneless strip steaks (8 to 10 ounces each)
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and cracked black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, including parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and/or basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter
  • Pepper Herb Butter (optional; recipe in BBQ USA, p. 200)

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Place the hay in a bucket or bowl and douse with the beer. Let soak for 30 minutes, then drain.

Step 2: Place the steaks on a platter. Season them very generously on both sides with salt and cracked peppercorns. Brush the steaks on both sides with the molasses. Combine the herbs and garlic in a small bowl and stir to mix. Sprinkle the herb mixture over the steaks, patting it onto the meat with your fingertips to make a thick crust.

Step 3: Grab a good-size handful of hay. Lay it flat on a baking sheet, spreading it out to form a rectangle the same length and about 3 times the width of a steak. Place a steak at the bottom of the rectangle (the longest side of the steak should be parallel to the short side of the rectangle). Roll up the steak in the hay. Repeat with the remaining steaks and hay.

Step 4: Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

Step 5: When ready to cook, brush the grill grate. Lay the hay-wrapped steaks on the hot grate and cover the grill. Grill the steaks for about 3 minutes. Uncover the grill and continue grilling for 1 minute. Expect a lot of smoke and flames as the hay catches fire.

Step 6: Turn the steaks and scrape any unburned hay off the tops onto the grill grate next to the meat. It will catch fire, creating further smoke for the steaks. Brush the tops of the steaks with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cover the grill and continue grilling for 3 minutes.

Step 7: Turn the steaks again and scrape any unburned hay off the tops onto the grill grate next to the meat. Brush the tops of the steaks with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Continue grilling the steaks until cooked to taste, another minute or so per side for medium-rare. To test for doneness, use the poke method; the meat should be gently yielding.

Step 8: Brush off any ash with a pastry brush and transfer the steaks to a platter or plates. Place rounds or dollops of the Pepper Herb Butter on top, if desired, and serve at once.

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