With over 100 company-owned and franchised restaurants throughout the Eastern and Midwestern United States, RARE Hospitality International Inc. has a fast-growing presence in the steakhouse segment of the dining industry. This relative newcomer to the market--at scarcely 15 years in business, compared to such 1960s-era chains as Ponderosa and Bonanza--RARE's irreverent style of "cowboy cuisine" shook up the segment. By 1996, the company's core chain of LongHorn Steakhouses numbered 81 units. Following its initial public offering in 1992, the company acquired the Bugaboo Creek Steak House chain and its smaller The Capital Grille group of pricey eateries. Founder George W. McKerrow, Jr. continued to serve the company as chairman through the mid-1990s.
Lone Star Steakhouse Copycat Recipe
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs
4 packages (1/4 oz. each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
7 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
Cream butter and shortening with sugar. Add eggs slowly, blending well between each addition. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water (110 degrees, make sure water isn't too hot). Sift together flour and salt. Add half of the flour and half of the milk to the shortening sugar mixture. Add dissolved yeast. Add remainder of the milk and flour to make a soft dough. Cover dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl large enough to hold dough when doubled in size, turning once to grease the surface. Cover, let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 2 hours). Fold dough over from 4 sides to knead lightly. Let rise again until doubled in size. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape as desired.
To make cloverleaf rolls: Shape dough into small balls. Three balls should half fill a greased muffin tin. Brush with melted butter or margarine. Let rise in a warm place until double in size. Do not let rolls over rise. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until both the top and bottom of the rolls are golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and brush the top of the rolls with melted butter or margarine.