Short ribs take a long time to cook.
The long, slow cooking, or braising, is all about breaking down the meat’s fibers so that it is fall-off-the-bone tender and can simmer for hours in its own juicy, succulent fat.
You find short ribs in upscale restaurants now, although a decade or two ago they were a cut that didn’t get much love.
You can buy bone-in or boneless ribs.
I prefer the latter because then I don’t have to worry about the bones and the tendons, and the meat cooks a little more quickly — although it still needs that nice, slow braising.
This recipe makes far more than you will need for the Spicy Beef Quesadillas on page 22, but the short ribs are so delicious that it’s worth making a little extra.
Plus, it’s tricky to braise short ribs in small amounts.
The cooked and cooled ribs freeze well for up to a month.
In a large Dutch oven or similar pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
When hot, sear the short ribs until the meat is crusty and nicely browned on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes total.
Lift the short ribs from the pot and set aside on a platter.
Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, until nicely browned, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the ketchup, broth, tomato soup, and vinegar and bring to a simmer.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Return the ribs to the pot, cover, and cook slowly over medium heat until the beef is fork-tender, about 2 hours.
Remove the ribs from the pot and set aside to cool.
When the ribs are cool enough to han dle, shred the meat with a fork or your fingers.
(Alternatively, roast the meat in a 425°F oven for about 2 hours, until tender.)