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Union Square Cafe Oven-Braised Short Ribs

1 large onion, sliced
2 carrots, scrubbed and sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 garlic head, split in half
3 bay leaves
10 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bottles (750-ml.) full-bodied red wine
4 to 4 1/2 lbs. beef short ribs
oil for browning
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 C. veal stock or store-bought veal demi-glace
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. garam masala (available in Indian markets)

Combine onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and all but 1 tablespoon of wine in large bowl. (Reserve tablespoon of wine to finish sauce.) Add ribs, cover and marinate in refrigerator overnight.

Remove ribs from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Place colander over a bowl and drain vegetables, reserving vegetables and marinade separately. Preheat oven to 350F.

Place Dutch oven over high heat, add oil, and bring it to the smoking point. Sprinkle ribs with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add ribs to pan, in batches; brown all over. Transfer ribs to a plate and set aside. Add vegetables and saute until browned, about 10 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add reserved marinade to deglazed pan. Stir well with a wooden spoon to combine wine with flour. Return ribs to pan, bone-side up, return to a boil, cover, and bake in oven until ribs are tender, about 2 hours, 45 minutes.

Transfer ribs to platter and cover with foil. Strain cooking liquid into a saucepan. Discard vegetables. Bring liquid to a simmer over medium heat and skim fat. Continue to simmer liquid; reduce to about 2 cups. Add stock and reduce again to about 2 cups. Stir in Worcestershire, garam masala and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add ribs and simmer gently, basting meat often with sauce, until sauce has reduced and thickened enough to coat and glaze ribs. Add reserved tablespoon of wine a minute or so before end of cooking. Transfer ribs to serving platter, pour sauce over, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

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