- 12 bone-in meaty beef short ribs of similar weight and size
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- About 1 teaspoon allspice, or a couple pinches of ground cloves
- About 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika (a scant palmful)
- 4 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil, divided
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 1 red Fresno chili pepper, chopped
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley, loosely packed
- A few sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves stripped
- 2 medium onions, cut into wedges with root ends attached
- 3 large carrots, sliced on an angle or chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 small ribs celery with leafy tops
- 1 bottle red zinfandel wine (750 ml)
- 4 cups beef stock (32 ounces)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Crusty bread, for serving
- 2 cups arugula, for serving
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
Pat the ribs dry and season liberally with salt, pepper, allspice and paprika.
In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil, a couple of turns of the pan, over high heat. Add the meat and brown in two batches, turning frequently. Remove the ribs to a plate and pour off the fat, as necessary.
While the meat browns, make a flavor paste by adding the garlic, chili pepper, bay leaves, parsley and rosemary to a food processor and pulse the processor to finely chop. Remove and reserve the paste.
Once all of the meat has been browned and the fat has been poured off, add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, onions, carrots and celery to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and stir for 5-10 minutes, until soft, then remove the mixture to a plate. Add in the flavor paste and stir for 5 minutes more. Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce by two-thirds, about 15 minutes. Return the ribs to the pot and add the stock. Bring the mixture to a boil; cover and move the ribs into the oven and cook for 2 1/2 hours. Add the onions and carrots back to the pot for the last 20-30 minutes of cooking time.
Remove four ribs for Short Rib Ragu with Drunken Pappardelle, if desired. Cool the remaining ribs completely, then refrigerate.
To serve, skim the fat from the beef and reheat, uncovered, over medium heat. Cook for 20 minutes or so to heat through. Remove the ribs and reserve.
In a small sauté pan, melt the butter butter. Whisk in the flour to make a light brown roux, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of rib sauce into the roux pan, then add the mixture back into the stew pot. Reduce the sauce until thickened, about 20 more minutes.
Serve two ribs per person with crusty bread, arugula and sauce with pasta alongside, if desired.
Cook's Note: To increase the number of servings for this dish – say, around holiday time – divide the work between two pots and cook 8-10 ribs in each pot simultaneously.
Tip: Make the short ribs 1 day ahead of serving them to make it easy to skim the fat and to allow the flavors to fully develop.