Texas Roadhouse, Inc. operates a chain of casual-dining restaurants catering to blue-collar families, offering a menu of steak, chicken, side dishes, and made-from-scratch rolls. Texas Roadhouse operates 182 restaurants in 34 states. The company's restaurants feature a southwestern décor, hand-painted murals, neon signs, and jukeboxes, offering patrons a free, unlimited supply of peanuts and inexpensive entrées. The per guest check average is $13.53, roughly two-thirds less than the per guest check average of the company's largest competitor, Outback Steakhouse, Inc. Texas Roadhouse targets secondary markets for expansion, preferring communities with populations above 60,000 and a high concentration of working-class families. The company is controlled by its founder and chairman, W. Kent Taylor, who owns approximately 60 percent of Texas Roadhouse stock.




Red Beans & Rice

Highway 61 Roadhouse Restaurant Recipe

1 pound dried small red beans
1 large ham shank
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced yellow onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced green pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (see note)
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
3 whole bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
ham stock as needed
to serve, cooked white rice

Notes: One teaspoon cayenne makes for spicy red beans; 1/8 teaspoon was plenty for our taste. The longer the beans soak, the shorter the cooking time.

Soak beans. Rinse and drain red beans, cover with water plus about 3 inches, let soak for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.

Make ham stock. Cover ham shank with about 6 cups water in a large pot, cover with lid and simmer for about 3 hours. Lift shank from pot, cut away and discard visible fat, shred and set aside the meat. Strain the ham stock.

Make beans. In a large, heavy pot, heat olive oil until shimmery on medium high. Stir in onion, celery, green pepper, garlic, paprika, granulated onion, peppers, thyme, oregano, bay leaves and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add just enough ham stock to cover the beans. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for two to six hours, adding more ham stock as the beans absorb it (you may not need all the stock), until beans begin to break up to form a creamy, soupy (but not watery) consistency. Stir in shredded ham and let simmer for an hour.

To serve Highway 61 Roadhouse style, fill a small bowl with 3/4 cup cooked rice and top with 1 cup beans. Makes 10 cups.

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