Penne with braised beef shortrib & tomato ragout, Port and Red wine reduction, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

This is a typical home cooked comfort food good for all seasons.  The rich “port and red wine” reduction with a home-made tomato ragout sauce can make you mouth-watering instantly.   Combine it with a piece of crusty Italian bread, you are the King of the world!

It is very easy to make this dish and there are two methods to cook it, first  on stove top and second slow cook in oven.

The slow cooking method is the best way to break down tough and chewy type of meet.  You can simmer it on stove top under low heat for two hours or put it in oven at 250°F for three hours.  I have used both methods but I find the slow cooking in oven can bring out the more intense flavor of the sauce.

Keys to this recipe:

  • A thick bottom cooking pot – You need to use a think bottom pot or a cast iron dutch oven to brown the meat to lock in the flavor.
  • A cup of red wine and a cup of port wine – You need to further intensify the aroma of the meat by using port and red wine to deglaze so you can unlock the color and flavor of the juices that have browned on the bottom .
  • A good quality tomato ragout – please see my earlier entry (Eddy’s killer tomato sauce) as your reference :
  • A perfect finish with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese – I find he Reggiano is a perfect match to this pasta dish.  It is informally known as the “king of cheese.”  Although the other type of cheeses such as Padano or Romano are acceptable, it is Reggiano  my top choice.
Deglaze with a cup of Red and Port wine

Selection of beef rib:

Go to your local butcher store and ask for beef short rib with no more than four bones per piece and the thickness of the meat is no more than two inches.  Cut the rib along the side of the bone into six to seven pieces

Beef Rib

Penne with braised beef short rib & tomato ragout, Port and Red wine reduction, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Total prep time: two to three hours

Serve 4-6


  • Beef short rib – two pounds cut into six to seven pieces.
  • Red wine (Merlot) – 1 cup
  • Port wine – 1 cup
  • Tomato ragout sauce – two cups
  • Cumin – 1/2 tea-spoon
  • Kosher salt – 1 soup spoon for the meat,  2 table-spoon for cooking the pasta
  • Freshly grated black pepper – a dash
  • Pasta – 400 gm of Penne Ziti 18 size (enough to serve six people)
  • Chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Put beef short ribs on a plate and sprinkle cumin, salt and pepper on all sides, ready for use.

Heat up a thick bottom pot under medium heat.  Pour two table spoons of vegetable oil when the pot is hot (with smoke) and put beef rib meat side down for browning, turn hear down to medium low.  Brown each side for three minutes.    Turn up the heat to high and deglaze the pot with the port and red wine (one cup each).  Scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure all the sticky brown stuff can mix back in with the sauce; reduce the liquid to 3/4 cup from two cups.

Browning the beef ribs
Deglaze the beef ribs after browning

Turn down the heat to low and pour in the tomato sauce and mix it thoroughly.  Cover the pot and place it in a pre-heated 250°F oven for three hours.   Test the tenderness of the beef rib and it should be fork tender.

Mix in tomato ragout sauce

In a big pot of hot water (turn heat down to medium low after boiling) , put in two table spoons of kosher salt.  Place pasta in pot and cook for 7-8 minutes; al dente.  Drain the pasta with a colander.

Remove the beef rib from the pot.  Find out if the sauce in the pot is too liquidity.  If so you can cut the volume by further reducing it.   Pour the already cooked pasta in the sauce and toss it thoroughly until fully mixed.  Plate the pasta and put a piece of beef rib on top………..dinner is ready!


One Comment Add yours

  1. Irene says:

    Your style is unique compared to other folks I have read stuff from.
    I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this web site.

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