Dirk Niepoort is a terrific cook in addition to being a groundbreaking winemaker. With his substantial Douro Valley reds, he likes to serve this hearty beef stew. At his home in Oporto, he intensifies the flavor by using old vintage port in the sauce (along with the sediment in the bottle). A simple nonvintage ruby port is an excellent substitute.
Slideshow: Excellent Beef Stews
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds well-trimmed boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Freshly ground pepper
2 large Spanish onions, very thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 cup ruby port
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
How to Make It
In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper and add half to the pan. Cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a large plate; brown the remaining meat.
Return all of the meat to the casserole. Add the onions, cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook until crisp-tender, 5 minutes. Add the port and simmer until evaporated. Add the red wine and reduce the heat to low. Cover tightly and cook until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours. Spoon off the fat and serve the stew.
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