Beef Bourguignon in a Wine/Port Reduction

This is an expensive and time consuming dish, but is hands down the best beef dish I have ever tasted. To start with, you need five pounds of short ribs, which aren’t cheap. Then you need a bottle of wine and bottle of port. If you aren’t down for springing for a bottle of Boudreaux, try to find a bottle of cabernet/merlot blend. Short of that use cabernet or you can experiment with a Pinot Noir. Port wines can be expensive and if you’re all in on this, get a nice ruby port. Otherwise a five dollar port along with a four dollar cabernet will still make an amazing sauce.

The time required to make this is five hours minimum, and it’s pretty much five hours in the kitchen tending to it. So make sure you set aside enough time and think about when to start your side dishes so it all comes together at once.


  • 5 lbs beef short ribs – bone in if possible
  • 32 oz beef stock
  • 750ml bottle of red wine – Boudreaux, cab, or Pinot Noir
  • 750 ml bottle of ruby port – can be cheap bottle
  • 2 TBL tomato paste
  • 1 TBL neutral oil
  • 1 pck unflavored gelatin – knox
  • mirepoix
    • 2 celery ribs – sliced
    • 2 large carrots – sliced
    • 1 large onion – diced
    • 5 cloves garlic – smashed
    • 4 sprigs thyme
    • 2 bay leaves
  • Optional slurry of 1/2 tsp cornstarch + 1 tsp water


  1. Mise en Place – gather and prepare all your ingredients in advance.
  2. Season beef with salt and pepper – be generous.
  3. Heat oil in cast iron pot at medium/high.
  4. Sear beef until brown. Sear all sides (~ 4 mins per side). Work in batches until all the ribs are seared.
  5. Pour off all but 2 TBL of fat.
  6. Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  7. Turn down heat and stir in tomato paste. Cook 1 min.
  8. Add wine and bring to a simmer. The wine will loosen the fond (burnt stuff) stuck to the bottom of the pot. You want the fond, it has a lot of taste.
  9. While wine is warming, pour stock into a bowl and sprinkle with gelatin until it blooms, then add to pot.
  10. Put ribs back in pot and simmer for 2-3 hours.
  11. Make sauce: Bring port of gentle simmer in sauce pain. Maintain uncovered until port is reduced to 1/2 cup and is syrupy. This will take at least an hour. Once done, set aside.
  12. Carefully remove ribs from pot. They will be very tender and fragile and you don’t want to pull the meat from the bone. Place ribs on a tray and tent with foil.
  13. Skim fat from the braising liquid, then strain out the mirepoix and put cleaned liquid back in pot.
  14. Simmer braising liquid until reduced to 2 cups (~ 1 hour). Skim off foam and fat as liquid reduces.
  15. Add reduced port sauce. If the combined sauce is too thin (doesn’t stick to a spoon) you can either continue to reduce or add a cornstarch slurry. The slurry will dull the sauce sheen (i.e., appearance) but if the rest of the meal is ready, ya gotta do it.
  16. Carefully add the ribs back to the pot to reheat. Let heat for 10 mins.

Plating: Arrange two to three ribs on a plate and spoon sauce over. Add other sides to provide cover. I like to serve steamed broccoli spears and either mashed potatoes or couscous for the starch.