Unlike many other strong meats, short ribs respond well to whatever flavorings you want to add. Morel or porcini mushrooms extend the ribs' rich beefiness.
6 pounds short ribs, about 6(10-inch) pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 cups dry whitewine
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
9 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
3 sprigs thyme
Heavy casserole or stew pot with cover, foil.
THE day before cooking. season the ribs with the salt, pepper and garllc powder. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
HEAT the oven to 325 degrees.
ON the stove top, heat the olive oil in a roasting pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the ribs and brown on all sides, about 1 minute per side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
DISCARD all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the wine, vinegar, broth, thyme and bay leaf. Stir in the mushrooms. Bring to a boil over high heat.
RETURN the ribs to the pan, cover with foil and braise in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the foil, cover and cook 3 more hours... turn the ribs after 1 1/2 hours, and check for liquid. Remove cover for last half hour to reduce liquid if desired. When done, meat is very tender and falling off the bone.
TO serve: remove the ribs from the braising liquid and divide among 6 warm, shallow bowls. (Leave the bones for a dramatic presentation.) Remove the mushrooms and reserve. Strain the braising liquid, discarding the solids. Spoon off and discard the fat from the liquid. Add the reserved mushrooms and pass as a sauce. Great with mashed potatoes.