Braised Short Ribs
* 2 T olive oil
* 6 lbs thick short ribs
* 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
* 6 shallots, sliced
* 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
* 2 celery stalks, chopped
* 1/4 C all-purpose flour
* 1 head garlic, broken into cloves
* Bouquet garni - 2 sprigs each of parsley and thyme, 1 bay leaf, 6 peppercorns, 6 whole allspice, and 2 cloves, tied in a rinsed piece of cheesecloth
* 2 C dry red wine
* 1/2 C ruby port
* 2 C good quality canned plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
* 3 C veal stock, or 1 cup chicken stock mixed with 2 cups beef stock (low sodium canned broth is OK)
* Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350° F. Heat the oil in a large flameproof/ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Remove meat to a plate, leaving drippings in pot.
In the same pan, sauté the onions, shallots, carrots, and celery until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook for an additional 3 or 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Return the meat to the pan, add the garlic, bouquet garni, red wine and ruby port. Increase heat to high and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any browned bits. Add the tomatoes and stock, bring to a boil, then cover and place in the oven for approximately 3 hours. The meat will be fork tender when done.
Transfer the meat to a bowl and cover with foil. Remove the garlic cloves and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, return the pan to a medium-high heat and reduce sauce to thicken slightly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Peel the garlic cloves and return them, with the meat, to the pot. Keep warm, covered, over low flame until ready to serve.
Serve over polenta, prepared according to package directions. For additional richness, add Mascarpone, Fontina and/or Parmesan cheese to the finished polenta just before serving.