Braising is a perfect cooking method for tough pieces of meat that will break down over the cooking time. Beef short ribs naturally contain a good hunk of fat, which adds significant depth of flavor to this dish. Marinating the ribs in red wine overnight and then braising the ribs in a combination of wine and chicken broth with aromatics, creates a rich, savory meal. The meat shrinks a great deal so if you’re serving a crowd be sure to buy extra ribs. The result of 3 hours of braising is a tender, fall-off the bone delicious dish.
The day prior to cooking the ribs, combine the ribs and the wine in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight and rotate the ribs occasionally. Drain the ribs and reserve the marinade.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large enamel cast-iron pot (Dutch oven), heat the olive oil. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, sear the ribs on all sides until well browned, about 10-12 minutes. Take the time to do this as it will add tremendous flavor. Transfer the ribs to a plate.
Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic to the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the vegetables, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned. Return the ribs with the bone side up, to the pot and add the herbs. Turn the heat to high and add the wine marinade back into the pot. Boil it vigorously for about 3 minutes and let it reduce. Add the broth or water. The liquid should come about 3/4 of the way up the side of the ribs, but not cover them completely. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cover the pot. Transfer the pot to the oven and braise the meat for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the lid and continue cooking the ribs for another 30-45 minutes. The ribs should be fork-tender and nearly falling off the bone. Carefully transfer the ribs to a platter. Place the pan back on the stove and simmer the liquid for a few minutes. Skim as much fat off as you can. Adjust the seasoning and strain the liquid for a smooth sauce. I saved the carrots to serve with the ribs and they were delicious having braised in the fat for hours. If you refrigerate the meat and sauce overnight, it’s easy to skim the fat off the top. Re-heat the meat in the sauce.