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.

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Bourbon BBQ Ribs


GRILLED BABY BACK RIBS with Bourbon BBQ Sauce
Longhorn Steakhouse Recipe

Serves 4

Baby Back Ribs:
4 (2 lb.) racks of baby back ribs

Seasoning for Ribs:
1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Bourbon BBQ Sauce: (Makes 3 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

For Bourbon BBQ sauce, saute onions and garlic in olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, until softened (about 5 minutes). Stir in all other ingredients and simmer until thickened (about 10 minutes). BBQ sauce is ready to use and can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks in a sealed container.

Set oven on 325 degrees. Season each rack of baby back ribs generously on both sides with the “Big Four”—Salt, Pepper, Garlic and Onion Powder or any other seasoning such as a BBQ seasoning or seasoning salt.

Place 2 racks, bone side down, in a 9 x 13 baking sheet pan. Combine about 2 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke and pour into pan, being careful not to wash off the seasoning. Wrap ribs tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil and place in oven for 2 hours 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, loosen foil and cool for 30 minutes at room temperature. Drain the liquid, wrap the ribs and refrigerate until ready for grilling.

Place racks of ribs “north to south”, bone side down on a clean, well-oiled grill, at medium heat. Allow ribs to grill about 5 minutes. Carefully roll entire rack over to continue grilling another 3 to 4 minutes. Brush a generous amount of Bourbon BBQ sauce on the bone side of the ribs. Turn the ribs again after 3 or 4 minutes and brush with more BBQ sauce.

Allow the ribs to grill 1 to 2 more minutes until the bones sizzle and sauce becomes heated on top Transfer ribs to serving platter.

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