Chef's Blog

Solage Calistoga's Executive Chef Brandon Sharp shares his passion for cooking, life and all things Napa Valley.

May 21, 2010

This time last year, we served a lunch entree that has become, along with our steamed pork buns, the most requested “dish gone by”–our smoked brisket served on Texas toast with our house recipe barbecue sauce (one of two recipes I won’t give away), bacon baked beans, creamy coleslaw, and fried onion rings.

It was everything you want to eat with smoked brisket, but it ran its course on the lunch menu and we replaced it, striving, like always, to change things often. But the same lip-smacking combination of those ingredients and flavors may soon resurface in a new set for our braised beef shortribs.

Francisco marinated them with red wine and aromatics on Wednesday night, and Zach cold-smoked them for four hours yesterday. Today he’ll sear and braise them, and their smokiness will infuse into the braising liquid (cuisson), which we’ll skim, strain, reduce, and turn into the sauce for the dish, and maybe add a little of the barbecue sauce to so the finished product in order to complement the smoke.

The cornbread-black pasilla spoonbread, black-eyed peas with molasses-bacon vinaigrette, and buttermilk onions rings are still in the development stage, but I expect to have it on the menu this weekend.

And maybe there’s room on the bar menu for our steamed pork buns after all . . .

One Response to “old habits die hard”

  1. Bradley says:

    Chef, you know you can’t tease a pork bun and not deliver. That would be cruel and unusual. Rain or shine, looks like tomorrow’s going to be a-ok.


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