Italian Short Ribs with Tomato and Garlic

This classic recipe from the Silver Palate works with Short Ribs as well as Flanken (Short Ribs are just a bit leaner and meatier).  The meat is simmered low and slow, bathing the kitchen in a delicious aroma and yielding tender meat that practically falls apart at the touch.

Yield : 6 portions

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional to sprinkle over the ribs before cooking
4 pounds Flanken or Short Ribs, cut into 2″ pieces
5 tablespoons best-quality olive oil
8 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1½ cups canned Italian plum tomatoes, with juice
2 cups peeled and sliced carrots (1/8-inch-thick slices)
3 cups sliced onions
8 whole cloves
½ cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
¾ cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Approximately 3 cups Beef Stock

1. Sprinkle the pepper over the short ribs. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or casserole over medium heat. Sear the ribs, 3 or 4 at a time, browning well on all sides. As they are browned, drain them on paper towels.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Return half of the ribs to the casserole. Sprinkle with half of the garlic. Layer half of each vegetable over the meat. Add 4 cloves and sprinkle with half of the parsley. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, ending with a layer of chopped parsley.

4. In a bowl mix together the vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar, salt, the 1 teaspoon black pepper, and the cayenne. Pour it over the meat and vegetables and then add the beef stock just to cover.

5. Cover the casserole, set over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 1½ hours. Uncover and continue baking until the meat is very tender, 1½ hours longer. Taste, correct the seasoning, and serve immediately.

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