Adapted from Michael Romano’s Union Square Café Cookbook. Not tails of an ox. 6 + lbs. short ribs cut 1/2″ thick and of like sizes. This recipe takes a whole bottle of red wine, so a French Beaujolais works well. It’s not too expensive, but good enough to be the main ingredient. The meat has to marinade overnight in most of the extended mirepoix. Best to divide the short ribs into two glass baking dishes to fit all of the vegetables.
I deviate from Romano’s original recipe by using leek, parsnips and more veggies and peppercorns in the marinade, add the cipollini onions later during the cooking.
For the marinade: 2 cups sliced celery; 2 cups sliced carrots; 1 cup sliced parsnips on a slant; 2 cups sliced leek; 2 cups parsley sprigs; 1 tsp. juniper berries or 1/4 cup gin. 1 bottle red wine; 1/2 cup red wine vinegar. 2+ tsp. red, green, black whole peppercorn mix. Any leftover celery, carrot, parsnip chunks.
Place short ribs evenly into 2 glass baking dishes. Divide all veggies evenly over the meat in each dish, as well as even amounts red wine vinegar, red wine, peppercorns, parsley sprigs on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the short ribs from the marinade and dry with paper towels. Strain the vegetables from the liquid in a bowl. Reserve both. Dust short ribs with a little flour on all sides. In a large stock pot, brown meat on all sides, in a little olive oil in stages. Remove meat from pot with tongs to a large bowl after each browning stage. Add the strained vegetables to the pot and brown. Add 1/3 cup tomato paste to middle of the pot and brown.
Return the meat, wine liquid from marinade to the stock pot. Turn to medium high heat. Stir all veggies, meat, wine marinade lightly to blend. Cover and place pot on middle rack in oven at 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
Peel 3 cups cipollini onions, add to the pot and stir in. Cover again and bake for another 1 hour until meat is tender. Add chicken broth if needed to keep meat moist. Uncover for 20 minutes to brown. Remove pot from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Discard bones. Serve meat with veggies, onions, ladled sauce accompanied with horseradish mashed potatoes. Beats turkey!