Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the onion, celery
, carrots, beets and garlic. Add the rosemary, thyme, star anise
, and cinnamon stick
, and set aside.
Cut the ribs between the bones, and trim all the excess outer fat. Season the ribs well with coarse salt. Dredge
in flour until well coated.
In a large Dutch oven
or wide soup
pot on high heat, pour in enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the ribs to the hot oil, and sear
the ribs so they are browned well on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the ribs, and set aside.
In the same pan, transfer all the vegetables from the bowl, and stir to caramelize
, and pick up all the brown bits. Add the meat back into the pot. Pour the wine
over top. Ensure all is covered with the liquid and if not, top up with water.
Add the cocoa powder, brown sugar and peppercorns, and bring to a boil, cover with a lid or foil, and place in the oven until the meat is fork tender, about 3 hours. Remove the ribs to a platter, and strain
out the solids to use for something else.
Boil the cooking liquid in a wide shallow pan until it is reduced by half. It will be richer, more flavorful and thicker. Add a nub of butter at the end for sheen and flavor.
Serve the short ribs
on a mound of Garlic Mashed Potatoes, topped with Green Beans and Poached Vine tomatoes, recipes follow.