Elegant Beef Bourguignon

Our favorite beef bourguignon is made from fork-tender short ribs.  This easy but elegant preparation is sure to delight your most discriminating houseguests. They’ll be talking about you and your main course for weeks to come.  

Elegant Beef Bourguignon, from The Fire Island Cookbook. Photo by Frances Janisch

Elegant Beef Bourguignon, from The Fire Island Cookbook. Photo by Frances Janisch

Elegant Beef Bourguignon

Suggested Wine Pairings:

Louis Jadot Pommard, Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France

This classic Burgundian Pinot Noir is from a village named for Pomona, the goddess of fruitful abundance.  A rich and opulent yet traditional Burgundy.  


Bouchard Pere et Fils Aloxe Corton, Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France 

Hailing from the north of Burgundy, this 100% Pinot Noir is the perfect balance of cherry, chocolate and bright acidity.  

Elegant Beef Bourguignon

This recipe originally appeared in The Fire Island Cookbook,

by Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen,

published by Atria Books, September, 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Special equipment:  3 ½ inch round biscuit cutter

                                Mandoline, for cross-cut potatoes 


  • 8 short ribs of beef, approximately 4 pounds

  • 2 medium onions

  • 2 large carrots

  • 1 medium parsnip

  • Red burgundy wine to cover, at least 1 bottle

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 pinches Herbes de Provence

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • ½ cup white flour

  • 1/3 cup olive oil 

In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Chop onion, carrot, and parsnip, and add to pot, stirring about 5 minutes until soft and golden. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss short ribs with flour in a zipper-top 1 gallon plastic bag until coated. Move vegetables to side of pot, add a little more olive oil to center of pot if necessary, and add 4 short ribs. Cook until browned on one side, about 3-4 minutes, and turn and repeat, remove to plate. Repeat with other 4 short ribs. When all are browned, add the first 4 ribs back to pot. Add enough red wine to cover and bring to a boil, stirring in a little more salt and pepper, mustard, and Herbes de Provence. Cover and turn heat to low. Simmer until meat is falling off the bone, approximately 2 and ½ hours. Remove ribs from pot, and set aside. Remove cover from pot, return heat to medium, and boil to reduce liquid volume by one-third. When meat is cool enough to handle, shred with a fork, lower heat under pot, and add meat back to pot for approximately half an hour. Discard bones.

Tip:  While your beef Bourguignon is cooking, make a pot of stiff mashed potatoes and a batch of cross-cut potatoes. 


Stiff Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food, especially when combined with tender braised beef and cross-cut fries. For this recipe, the stiffer the better.  

  • 3  pounds of small to medium red potatoes

  • 2/3  cup milk

  • 4 tablespoons butter

Cut potatoes into quarters.  Place in a pot of salted cold water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium.  Cook until “fork tender,” approximately 15 – 20 minutes.  

Meanwhile, heat milk and butter in a glass measuring cup placed into the microwave approximately 30 – 45 seconds, 15 seconds at a time, until the butter is liquefied.  

When potatoes are cooked, drain in a colander, and return to the pot.  Add about half of the milk and butter then salt and pepper to taste.  Mash with a hand masher.  Add milk and butter as needed.  Potatoes should remain somewhat stiff.  

Cross-Cut Potatoes 

Better than the best French fries from your favorite steak house, these cross cut potato wedges form the “basket” that frames your delicious beef bourguignon

  • 4 large potatoes

  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying

  • Sea salt to taste

Peel potatoes. Set mandoline for ridge or cross cut. Slice potatoes on mandoline, heat oil to 375 degrees. Fry potato slices, a few at a time, until golden brown. Remove from oil, place on paper towels to drain, and dust with sea salt. May be made while beef Bourguignon is cooking, and used at room temperature. 


Place a three and one half-inch metal biscuit cutter in the center of a plate, and fill halfway with mashed potatoes, using a soup spoon. Use a slotted spoon to add Beef Bourguignon to the top half of the ring, draining well as you remove each spoonful from the pot. Carefully remove your mold. After you have repeated for each serving, place 4-5 cross-cut potato slices around the outside of each serving, forming a “basket.” Serve immediately.

From THE FIRE ISLAND COOKBOOK Copyright © 2012 by The World Wine Guys, LLC published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.